The gun being used for target practice in a Berkeley back yard. Photo: BPD

The Berkeley Police Department has issued an updated statement on the incident last Saturday which ended with a pet pit bull being shot and killed by a police officer. The police also released a photo of the gun that a member of the community witnessed being fired in the resident’s backyard — and which prompted them to alert the police.

The police responded by sending a Supervisor and five BPD Officers to the 3200 block of Shattuck due, the statement reads, “to the serious nature of the call”.

The statement continues:

“Officers were able to contact three men inside who complied with the officers’ directions to come out of the house one at a time with their hands up. They were detained outside.

“During the process, a pit-bull dog came out of the residence. The dog refused to comply with the verbal commands issued by one of the occupants who was familiar with the dog. The dog began growling, running about the officers then eventually crouched and was starting to leap at one of the officers. This officer felt that the dog posed an immediate threat to his safety so he fired one round from his pistol at the dog and it died instantly. Due to the speed at which these events happened, the officer(s) had no other viable options.

“Officers would not allow any of the occupants to re-enter the home as they had not located the gun yet and did not know whether there was an armed individual inside. Officers proceeded with a protective sweep of the home. During the sweep, an officer saw a black pistol that resembled a semi-automatic handgun.

“All Use of Force incidents are thoroughly reviewed by BPD. No officer wants to be put in the position of using force, particularly deadly force, on animals or individuals, but sometimes must do so to protect him/herself, the safety of others and community safety. BPD called Animal Services who responded to take the dog away.

“The occupants of the home admitted to doing target practice in their back yard with the replica pellet gun.”

Dog killed by police during house call on Saturday [04.04.11]

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...