Weslaco Family's Dog Killed by Police Officer
WESLACO – A Weslaco family wants to know why a police officer shot and killed their dog. They said the shooting should never have happened.
Manuel Garcia said he and his family were sitting at the kitchen table Sunday afternoon when they heard two gunshots outside their window. When they opened the door, they said they saw a Weslaco police officer pointing a gun at their dog.
Their dog was just feet from their front door with a gunshot wound.
“It’s like losing a family member, you know,” Garcia said. “He got shot and they wouldn’t let me take him to the hospital.” The family’s 4-year-old Pitbull, Gator, was shot and killed by a Weslaco police officer.
Garcia said the bullets should have never been fired.
“He took it upon himself to fail to see the signs he came into my yard,” he said.
The family’s home is enclosed by a chain linked fence with ‘Beware of Dog’ signs visible.
“He’s like the dog attacked me and I said, ‘He’s doing his job,’” Garcia said.
The street the family lives on is a two way, with no room for parking in the front. Garcia’s cars are parked in the back. On Sunday, Garcia said his truck was parked in front.
“He said we were illegally parked, that he was going to ask us to move the truck,” he said.
Garcia said the police officer ignored the signs posted.
“He never sounded his horn, he didn’t put his siren, he didn’t use his microphone. He didn’t try to reach us, he didn’t rattle the fence,” he said.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to the Weslaco Police Department. They sent us a statement that reads in part, “The officer approached the gated residence and made entry through the unlocked gate. Once inside the property the officer observed a large gray Pitbull running towards him. In the officers attempt to kick the dog, it became more aggressive and bit down on the front portion of the officer’s boot. It was at this time the officer feared for his safety and discharged two rounds from his service weapon striking the dog.”
To protect his other four dogs, Garcia said he isn’t taking any chances. He put up a lock to prevent anyone from trying to get in again.
Weslaco police said the officer was within department policy. The incident is under departmental review.