One Houston family is upset and asking questions after their dog was shot and killed in their very own backyard by a Houston Police Officer.
Houston Police say the officer was trying to protect himself while gathering information for a police report, but that family says the officer had no right to be there.
Houston police say their officer was walking into the backyard of the home because he saw a woman on her phone. He was trying to talk to her when he says the dog came at him.
But the woman in question says she was never outside. She was inside her home, and when she came out, the officer was already in her backyard.
The dog was two years old and named Rocko. He was the Lopez family’s four-legged, furry protector.
“I had to watch him die," Jasmin Lopez said.
Lopez was in tears, heartbroken over the shooting she witnessed Thursday.
“He was standing right here and the dog was right here. The dog was right here when he shot him," Lopez said.
She says she came out of her home to find an officer in her backyard, and her dog Rocko pushing his way out of his cage through a hole he’d made.
“He was like come and get your dog before I shoot him. He was already dead. I didn’t have time," Lopez said.
She says it happened too fast.
“The dog just ran over here. And he shot him again right here, and that’s when he bit him," Lopez said.
Lopez says Rocko bit the officer out of self-defense, and the dog was still alive. But she says the officer wouldn’t let her touch him.
“We were right here watching the dog breathe. I was like he’s still breathing, we can get him water, bring him back to life. He said just watch him take his last breath," Lopez said.
Rocko laid there for an hour, she says, before animal control came and picked him up.
But Houston Police say the officer, trying to make a report, was directed to the trailer home in the backyard.
He saw a woman but before he could talk to her, he saw the dog in a damaged cage jump out and run towards him.
The officer says he discharged his weapon before the dog knocked him to the ground and bit his ankle. The officer then fired his weapon again and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Jasmin’s brother Manny says Rocko was just doing his job and wants to know why the officer was in his backyard in the first place.
“Did he knock at the front door or anything? My sister said no that he just walked straight onto private property. He didn’t have no reason to be back here," Manny Lopez said.
Police cited Lopez for not having the ownership or rabies records on hand, but the owner says he'll provide the records to the court to get the citation dismissed.
Houston Police say this is an ongoing investigation. KHOU 11 News has requested the officer’s body camera video.
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