TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida police officer shot a 6-year-old pit bull that approached her as she and another officer investigated a case of suspicious activity at an apartment complex, authorities said.
Rachel Robledo called Tampa police to report seeing someone holding a gun on the balcony of a nearby apartment on St. Patrick’s Day, news outlets reported.
Police officers who responded to the call couldn’t locate the suspect, so they decided to speak to Robledo, officials said.
The bodycam footage taken from the officers shows the woman holding back a pit bull as they approached. But the dog, named Nala, ended up leaving Robledo’s apartment and approaching the officers. One officer shot the dog two times, police said.
The dog is recovering, following surgery, news outlets reported.
“She went right to the gun to shoot my dog,” Robledo told WFTS. “She could have done pepper spray, she could have done anything else.”
After the shooting, the Tampa Professional Standards Bureau, which conducts internal investigations, said the officer “took immediate action to keep herself safe,” according to WFLA. The Bureau investigates each time an officer fires their weapon.
“There wasn’t time for a taser or negotiating. It was either shoot or get mauled and get attacked,” Danny Alvarez, a spokesperson for Tampa Police Benevolent Association, told WFLA.
Robledo’s neighbors told WFTS that Nala is loving and kind and questioned why an officer’s first reaction was to shoot her. They’ve also created a GoFundMe to help Robledo pay for Nala’s veterinary bills. According to WFTS, Robledo wants police to help with the medical costs as well as take accountability for the incident.