DPD officer accidentally shot by partner after firing at dog

Posted at 4:54 AM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 17:20:12-04

A Detroit Police officer is recovering after being accidentally shot by his partner on Sunday.

Police say one officer fired a round at a charging dog, but missed and instead hit his partner in the leg.

They were responding to a mental health call in the area of Hackett and Prevost on the city's west side.

As of Sunday night, the officer was in stable condition, but it has brought up a lot of questions about how law enforcement officers handle dogs, and could this all have been averted if the bulldog was on a leash?

On Sunday, our team spoke to the dog owner's niece who said she witnessed the whole incident. She said the dog didn't lunge at officers, and it was just following its instinct to protect her space.

"He was just going crazy with the gun and I thought he was gonna shoot me because he was swinging the gun all over the place, the niece said. "I almost had a heart attack because she's not aggressive, she doesn't even have teeth, she's old."

She said the bulldog is 9 years old and was only barking at the officers, but Detroit police say that's not what happened.

Wanting to conceal her identity, that's the voice of Tiara who says the Bulldog is 9 years old and was only barking at the officers. But Commander Brain Harris tells a different story.

"The dog charged at the officers, the officers, fearing for their safety, one officer fired one round at the dog," Detroit Police Commander Brian Harris said.

Meanwhile, the dog owner, Thomasina, says her dog has never been aggressive. She also wants to know why pulling a gun was the only option.

"The first thing you think to do is grab a pistol and start waving it back and forth? No mace, no taser, or nothing? You're just gonna take her out?" Thomasina, the homeowner and dog owner, said.

DPD has issued two citations against the dog owner for harboring a vicious animal in the City of Detroit, which she said she plans to fight in court.