Was it a playful pup, or a dangerous dog? That’s the debate in Hammond after an officer shot and killed a female pit bull mix.
Police say the dog was threatening the detective. Its owner says she was just playing.
"Devastated. Devastated isn't even the word. Mad,” said dog owner Jen Shannon.
Shannon says a Hammond cop overreacted when he shot and killed 3-year-old Lexie - a female pit bull mix that was pregnant with pups.
"She was the sweetest, kindest dog,” Shannon said.
It happened Tuesday morning at a fireworks store on Calumet Avenue, which is run by Lexie’s owners. The detective was at the store after a car had been stolen from the parking lot.
Surveillance video shows Lexie run towards the officer off camera, then immediately run back inside after being shot twice.
Shannon says the dog was just looking to get her belly rubbed by the cop.
"I asked him where are your damages? Where did she bite you? Where did she touch you? And he kept saying the same thing over and over again. She didn't touch me. She was running at me,” Shannon said. "The man is six foot four. Like if he's afraid of a 28 pound dog, that is literally not even a foot and a half tall, then he shouldn't be wearing a gun or a badge."
But Hammond Police are telling a very different story. They say it was the dog that was acting aggressively.
"This dog continues to run and charge our officer,” said Lt. Steve Kellogg, Hammond police spokesman.
Lt. Steve Kellogg says the detective tried to get away, but the dog snapped at his leg.
"Growling and barking and tries to bite the calf of the officer as the officer's just trying to get away. The detective is forced to fire twice into the dog,” Kellogg said.
Ironically, Lexie made news last May when she was rescued by an Indiana state trooper after she got loose and was found wandering along the nearby interstate.
"She's sitting in the squad car with a grin ear to ear on the front seat. Well that tells you this dog's not aggressive, okay,” Shannon said.
Shannon says at the least she'd like an apology from the city, but police say there's nothing to apologize for.
"It's very unfortunate. Myself, I know this officer involved here, we're all dog lovers, okay?" Kellogg said.