Family looks for answers after dog is shot by police officer

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WMBB) — A family pet was almost killed last week in a shooting and the family says the person who pulled the trigger was a Springfield Police Officer.

Justin Elking and his family were at home on the night of September 10 when Elking says he took his dog Kobi outside.

Officers drove up to the home around 12:30 a.m. in response to a disturbance call.

Elking and police say a neighbor called after hearing a woman scream, but it was only the television.

While outside though, Elking let Kobi roam like he always does.

“He always comes out. He’ll patrol the yard. He runs across the street to play with his little chihuahua friend and come right back,” Elking said.

Elking said he was on the other side of his van when he heard someone yell ‘get your dog.’ The voices he heard were officers.

“By the time I came around my dog was standing and staring at 3 police officers, one with his gun drawn. and I said ‘stop I’m going to get him.’ They saw me. My dog barked one time and all of a sudden, I hear two shots real quick,” Elking said.

The bullet appeared to have entered behind the dog’s right front leg and exited through his chest. Elking says the veterinarian told them this means Kobi was not facing officers when he was shot.

Kobi is recovering from the wound but the family just wants to know why the trigger was pulled at all.

Even though Kobi may look intimidating, but that’s far from the truth.

“He’s never growled or bit his teeth at anyone. He barks but that’s what dogs do. They bark,” Elking said.

Elking says they want to get the issue resolved but their main concern is making sure their 5-year-old son’s image of police officers remains positive.

“I tell him there’s good ones and bad ones. Not all the police that were here that night were bad. One of them did a bad thing,” Elking said.

Elking says they haven’t filed a police report and are waiting to get guidance from a lawyer.

Chief Barry Roberts with Springfield PD says they are aware of the situation and the use of force is under a review.

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