A Texas cop checking on the welfare of a woman reportedly passed out in public ended up killing her when he tried killing a barking dog that spooked him.
Arlington police say the barking dog came charging towards the cop, making him fear for his life and prompting him to draw his gun and fire as retreating backwards.
But he ended up shooting the woman who yelled out that she was injured.
The incident, which took place Thursday, was captured on the officer's body camera, according to the press release published on the Facebook page of the Arlington Police Department:
On Thursday, August 1, 2019, at approximately 5:17 p.m., Arlington police officers, the Arlington Fire Department and EMS were dispatched to a welfare check in which the caller reported that a woman was passed out in a grassy area near Cantor Drive and N. Collins Street.
The first officer arrived around 5:20 p.m. along with EMS and fire department personnel, and they were unable to locate the female. The caller contacted the officer and was able to direct emergency personnel to the location where this woman was last seen. As the officer began to approach what appeared to be a woman lying in the grass, he noticed there was also an unrestrained dog. This location was near a fence line containing a heavily wooded area behind a commercial business that includes a sidewalk area. As the officer called out to the woman repeatedly concerning her welfare, the dog began to run towards the officer while barking. The officer retreated backwards from the running dog while drawing his duty firearm. The officer discharged his firearm multiple times towards the dog. After the shots were fired, the woman yelled out and it was apparent she was injured.
The woman was transported to a local hospital where she was later pronounced deceased. Preliminary information leads investigators to believe the woman was struck by gunfire from the officer. The officer is assigned to the North District as a patrol officer.
However, a woman on Facebook said she witnessed the shooting and it appeared as if the cop was deliberately aiming for the woman. We have removed her name because she has since removed the post saying she is afraid.
As of late Thursday evening, police have not released the cop's name nor made any mention that they plan to release the video any time soon so it does appear to be a coverup in the making.
Police have not said if the dog belonged to the woman but if it was unrestrained near her when the cop walked up, it was likely her dog. Judging by comments on social media, it appears as if the woman was homeless and may have just been sleeping. A male companion may also have been a witness.
It does not appear as if the barking dog bit the officer despite the cop's failure to stop the perceived threat.
Last month, a federal appeals court ruled that a cop who shot a boy while trying to shoot a dog is entitled to qualified immunity.