CHAMPAIGN -- Police shoot a dog being attacked by a pit bull on accident. A girl was walking her laborador when a stray pit bull attacked it.
The dogs started fighting and a witness called police. Police say the lab's owner lost control of the leash and it was tangled between the two animals.
An officer shot at the pit bull multiple times but both dogs were hit. The lab was pronounced dead at the scene.
Original: 10:35 pm, 11/17/12, Saturday
CHAMPAIGN -- A family says the police killed their dog by mistake. It happened on the corner of Crescent Drive and John Street.
The Saathoff family is standing just feet away from their dead labrador who they say was shot by a police officer. Their daughter took the dog for a walk around 5:30 Saturday evening when a pit bull ran up and attacked him.
The dogs started fighting and a witness called police. Investigators say the officer on scene shot at the pit bull multiple times. However, the family says those bullets missed and hit their dog instead.
"I'm devastated. He's been our family dog for years. And he's a wonderful, wonderful dog. He's not a fighter, he was a cuddler and a wonderful dog. I want someone to give me some answers. Why did it happen? It doesn't make any bit of sense," says Kathy Saathoff.
"His actions were to try and save this dog. Clearly in this case the dog is deceased. That's not what he wanted or what I wanted and I know we both are sorry for their loss," says police sergeant Mike Crone.
Police aren't confirming bullets hit and killed the dog but say they're investigating, which is standard procedure anytime an officer fires a weapon. The pit bull was injured in the fight and in custody of animal control.