As an Oakland family mourns their beloved yellow Lab shot and killed by an Oakland police officer earlier this week, the department's chief assures they are investigating the incident and reviewing their policies.
Police went to the Hallock family's home on Burgos Avenue in the Oakland Hills on Tuesday to check out a burglary alarm. While checking the house for possible burglary suspects, one of the officers encountered the dog going out the open back door, Officer Jeff Thomason said. Gloria was the family's 11-year-old yellow Lab who suffered from arthritis and had trouble getting around.
The officer, who sources identified as Victor Garcia, said the dog was growling and running toward him as he retreated backwards. As the dog continued to advance, the officer fired three times, hitting Gloria in the head with one of those rounds.
"It is an unfortunate incident when you have a family pet protecting its home and officers responding to protect the property," police Chief Anthony Batts said in a statement.
"The end result is not something we wanted and my heart goes out to the family who has lost their dog," Batts said. "We are investigating the incident to ensure that proper policies and procedures were followed and evaluating possible ways to improve outcomes related to future contacts with animals."
Mary Kate Hallock arrived home from running errands to find a note from officers on the front door of the home explaining that the dog had "advanced on officers in a threatening manner before being shot and killed."
The Hallocks say they want to know why police didn't use Taser, mace or pepper spray on the dog instead of going right to the deadly force of a handgun.
No burglary suspects were found inside. Garcia has not been placed on leave pending an investigation into the incident.
This is the second animal killing involving an Oakland police officer in just a few months. On May 1, an officer shot and killed a young deer found in an East Oakland back yard. The officer who ordered the deer be shot has been demoted and the officer who pulled the trigger has been disciplined in that case.