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20 shots to kill a dog

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Tommy.Gun, Mar 15, 2004.

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  1. Tommy.Gun

    Tommy.Gun member

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    Cops' gunfire draws questions and probe
    BY BEN SCHMITT
    FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

    March 15, 2004



    Kevin Claiborne's 2-year-old daughter Kaila pointed to her front window in her east-side Detroit home in the pleasant East English Village neighborhood.

    "The police shoot the window," she said.

    When her dad asked why, she replied: "They killed a dog."

    It happened Jan. 13. The four-legged suspect, named Bugsy, was loose, and the cops said it attacked them. They nailed Bugsy after firing more than 20 shots. Their bullets also hit two houses and a plastic tank filled with gas.

    The Detroit Police Department's internal affairs unit and Office of the Chief Investigator, which handles citizen complaints, are investigating the incident, involving three officers from the 5th (Jefferson) Precinct.

    Claiborne, who is a Detroit firefighter, is still livid when he talks about the officers running up and down his block on Harvard and firing their guns repeatedly. One of the shots went through his front window as he was holding his daughter in the kitchen, slamming into a wall several feet from them.

    "I still don't really know how the bullet missed us," Claiborne said. "There must have been an angel in the room."

    His neighbors, Gerald and Candace Wheeler, surveyed the damage to their two-car garage in awe after the police killed Bugsy, a 1-year-old Neapolitan mastiff who died in an alley a block away at Grayton, near Chandler Park Drive.

    There are eight bullet holes in the garage. One bullet grazed the plastic handle of a full gas can inside the garage.

    "That gas can could have easily blown up," said Gerald Wheeler.

    After the officers killed the dog, Wheeler said one of them approached him and nonchalantly uttered, "Wow, your garage looks like a piece of Swiss cheese."

    "I asked him, 'Who is going to pay for this?' " Wheeler said. "He told me to turn it in to my insurance company."

    Then there's the dog's owner, Timothy Johnson, who lives on Grayton. He bought the dog as a family pet on Christmas Eve 2002 to surprise his 3-year-old daughter Jordan. Johnson said Bugsy, who was about 150 pounds, dug his way out of a kennel in the backyard while the family was out.

    "This was really unnecessary," Johnson, 41, said. "I grew up in Detroit and Highland Park and I really don't want to give the city a bad rap, but Bugsy was not a vicious dog. If the officers would have taken a little time, they could have easily found out who owned the dog."

    Wheeler and Claiborne attended the Feb. 26 Board of Police Commissioners meeting to air their complaints. Assistant Chief Walter Shoulders said the matter is under investigation internally.

    The two men subsequently filed a complaint against the three officers with the department's Office of the Chief Investigator. Arnold Sheard, the department's interim chief investigator, would not release the officers' names Thursday because the investigation is ongoing.

    The Free Press learned one of the officers is Aaron Haley. He declined comment.

    Cmdr. Charles Barbieri of the 5th Precinct said the three officers were sent to a remedial firearms course after the incident, which he called standard procedure. The officers responded at 5 p.m. after a resident called police about the loose dog.

    "I don't think it was a questionable shooting," Barbieri said. "They had a vicious dog and they had to shoot it. It's fairly common. I know it did take a few shots to put the dog down."

    Wheeler and Claiborne counted more than 20 shell casings on the street and in their yards.

    "It was a dog, and there are bullet holes in my garage," Candace Wheeler said. "A dog! It really doesn't makes you feel too good about the police force."

    Johnson, the owner, said he's discussing the matter with an attorney and just wants the city to replace Bugsy.

    Lemuel Joyner, who lives around the corner on Grayton, said he questioned one of the officers after hearing a barrage of gunshots.

    "He said the dog had attacked him," Joyner said. "I'm wondering how he was running after a dog down an alley, shooting his gun, if the dog was attacking him."

    Joyner said the dog had been loose at least one other time but never had attacked anyone.

    "That dog did not have a violent bone in its body," he said.

    Gerald Wheeler said he can't help but wonder how this incident would have been handled in the suburbs.

    "These officers treated it like it was nothing," he said. "We never heard from them again. It's the attitude that left me with a bad feeling."


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  2. Grey54956

    Grey54956 Member

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    Hmmmmm... Interesting.

    Once again, I find myself doubting whether police officers should be issued firearms as standard equipment. Perhpas they should have to apply for a carry permit, take carry classes, and be judged by the same standards as non-police.

    Seriously, it sounds like these clowns were having a good ol' time shootin' up the town.

    On another note, I love the fact that people question how a bullet didn't miraculously hit them or their loved ones as if a bullet is a smart bomb built to home in on people. Or, how any can of gas will apparently explode at the slightest touch. This is what happens when movies become the primary source of education in this country.
     
  3. patent

    patent Member

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    Insane. What a mess. This quote made me chuckle a bit though:

    Its a Mastiff. Exactly what does he think those dogs were raised to do? I'm sure it treated his kids well, but they are known for that. Strangers can be another matter entirely. I know, I know, his is probably different, couldn't hurt a flea.

    These dogs are huge, and if not trained well, esp. if left alone for long periods, can be dangerous. To say it didn't have a violent bone in its body is to completely misunderstand your pet. Its violence can be contained by proper training, but by its nature and breeding its a powerful guard dog.

    patent
     
  4. jdkelly

    jdkelly Member

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    I'm confused

    A 150 pound dog attacks police officers, and there is no mention of wounds? Show a single bite mark and the story washes.

    Surely a 150 pound dog would scratch the skin in an attack. If they don't have wounds, and I don't know that they don't, how were they attacked?

    If the dog only postured, at what would have to be fairly close range for the officers to be threatened, how could they miss?

    I guess there is just not enough of the story out there.


    Respectfully,

    jdkelly
     
  5. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    No OC? Pepper spray works on dogs - it was designed as an animal repellant, after all. Running and shooting? Too much Hollywood.
    Why do they always show bullets cause huge sparks in the movies, bullets made of non sparking material, i.e., lead and copper?:banghead:
    Idiots. OTOH, I did hear of a pt bull that took 10 rounds of 9mm at PBR to kill it, delivered from a Glock. Dogs are tougher than we are.
    City needs to pay for the damage, then if the officers are found negligent, it comes out of thier wallets.
     
  6. jdkelly

    jdkelly Member

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    armoredman,

    I always thought that Hollywoods sparks from bullets hitting buildings was, well Hollywood. That was until I saw video from Iraq, where bullets hitting were causing sparks. Perhaps there was metal on the building, I don't know. But the video clip looked almost as fake as a movie.

    Respectfully,

    jdkelly
     
  7. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    [SARCASM] Only cops need guns. [/SARCASM]
     
  8. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    :barf:

    Try again, Mr. Wheeler.
     
  9. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Was this to let them practice so as to only expend 10 shots instead of 20??

    Or was it hoping to increase accuracy enough to actually hit a dog sized target.?:p

    (Rules #2 and #4 guys!)
     
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    A keen observation! I've seen what a 60 lb shepherd can do in a matter of seconds. A 150 lb giant would certainly leave a mark!

    The number of shots is high, but not astonishing. Dogs can take a lot of lead, and duty sidearms are NOT the ideal weapon for using against a fast-moving four-legged critter. I've seen enough "Animal Cops--Detroit" to know even their specialists don't know what the devil they're doing half the time.
     
  11. jobu07

    jobu07 Member

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    Yeah, that gas can remarks kinda bothers me. People think that it's just going to spontaneously explode if a bullet strikes it. It was probably a plastic gas can too... But even if it was metal, the odds of a "spark" from the bullet hitting it igniting the gas is so remote.... Unless the cops where started being issued tracers :p
     
  12. PATH

    PATH Member

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    Know your target and what is beyond. Don't take the shot if you can't take it safely. I'd rather get bit than shot. Sounds like a bit of shoot em up Dodge City stuff. It would be funny except those loose rounds damn near killed innocent people.

    Big time disciplinary action on this one and several major lawsuits to boot!
    It seems that some serious training is in order here to prevent this type of dangerous shooting behavior.

    Poor judgement was exercised in this instance regardless of the poochie running loose! :uhoh:
     
  13. Watchman

    Watchman Member

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    A 150 pound dog attacks police officers, and there is no mention of wounds? Show a single bite mark and the story washes.

    As long as I'm carrying a gun, I AINT getting bit by a dog.
    Period.


    Anybody that waits till a dog bits them before shooting it has obviously never seen what a big dog can do to a human in a matter of seconds.I have,thus the determination to not get bit.

    I worked a case where two pit bulls attacked a woman and killed her in less than 2 minutes. A bloody mess it was.

    In case anyone misunderstands me, I aint getting bit.

    In every single dog shooting I've ever seen or heard about the owners INSIST that the dog is not violent. Nothing new there....
     
  14. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    Really? Then I'm sure the cop was willing to show everyone his bite wounds. A dog that big who "attacked" him would certainly cause wounds serious enough to justify a trip to the hospital for the cop. But, I guarantee he had NO BITE WOUNDS. There was NO ATTACK. The dog probably looked at him suspiciously, and the cop just figured he could do what he wanted, and no one would question it, because he's a cop.
     
  15. tex_n_cal

    tex_n_cal Member

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    I have met one Neo Mastiff - even at six months he was a big, massive dog. He was almost a gunmetal blue in color, with yellow eyes. Although the one I met was well behaved, he wasn't especially friendly.

    I really can't recall a more intimidating looking dog, when he stared at you. They make Rottweilers look like clowns. I suspect the dog just looked at the cops, and they spooked. He was probably an expensive dog, and I hope the owner gets his money back.
    :fire:
     
  16. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Just thought ... and leaving aside rights and wrongs ... I wonder what the leash laws are in MI .. or specifically, in Detroit.

    A very large dog that is not legally ''on the streets'' ... when it should be on a leash or contained within the boundaries of an owner's property .. could sometimes be seen as both a threat and an illegality.

    Just wondering how this colors things. .. ignore for now the ''20 shots''!!
     
  17. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    About the gas can...granted, a bullet puncturing a can won't cause it to explode. However, many homes have a water heater and/or a furnace installed in the garage. The vapors from a punctured can could easily come in contact with a pilot light and cause an explosion. There's also a possibility that activating an electric garage door opener could cause ignition, either from the contact in the switch or sparking of the metal components in the track if not properly lubricated if someone opened the door to vent the garage.
     
  18. Kestrel

    Kestrel Member

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    What is the difference between a regular English Mastiff and a Neopolitan Mastiff?

    Steve
     
  19. mete

    mete Member

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    Now I know that it takes eight rounds to kill a garage !!....I wouldn't want to take chances with a 150lb mastiff but if I had to shoot I'd shoot the dog not anything else.
     
  20. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    The Neo is from Italy. "Mastiff" is a general term referring to any massive large dog intended to guard property. Many nations have a Mastiff type breed. Rich people used to commonly keep them to guard their estates.
     
  21. tthiel

    tthiel Guest

    I have a French mastiff who wouldn't hurt a fly. These cops should be fired. Idiots.
     
  22. freewheeling

    freewheeling Member

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    I have been attacked by a German Shephard and if I'd had a gun I'd have shot the critter. The animal did not "complete" the attack, fortunately, because there were enough people yelling at it that I guess it broke off. I doubt that I'd have taken 20 shots to kill the animal though. The notion that these policement ought to have waited until the dog actually injured them seems like something of a double standard. That's not the standard that would apply if one were attacked by a human. Could a person reasonably expect that the animal or human posed a threat of either serious physical injury or death? End of story.

    Whether it was prudent to fire in those circumstances is another matter. One assumes that police would be held to a higher standard with regard to potential harm to the public than would a "normal" human.

    Anyway, this happened in England right? So your normal average human wouldn't have had the option to shoot.
     
  23. Chairman Meow

    Chairman Meow Member

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    Most military ammo has steel penetrator tips IIRC. I was at a range last fall that caught on fire because of the sparks produced by mil-surplus ammo hitting rocks. I have never heard of handgun ammo having steel penetrator tips though. Also, gasoline won't really impact detonate, right? Now if those people had some tannerite in the garage...
     
  24. larry_minn

    larry_minn Member

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    Sounds bad. I have been attacked (have marks to prove it from first one) THEN I learned how to deal with attacking dog. (not two) They sound like me when chasing racoons. Thing is I have safe backstop and nothing for over half mile in most directions. To do this in major city......BAD
     
  25. J Jones

    J Jones member

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    As has been mentioned, leaking gas only has to find a source of ignition. The radiant heat from a recently parked cars catalytic converter might do it.

    Doesn't anyone find it hard to believe how the threatened officers had to chase the "fearsome beast" in order to shoot it?


    [​IMG]
     
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