Two men charged after officer fatally shoots dog

Willie Washington, 31, and Clarence Branford, 57, are charged with possession of a controlled substance

July 29, 2011 12:04:23 PM PDT
Two men have been charged for drug possession after an incident involving a Houston police officer fatally shooting a dog while serving a search warrant in northeast Houston.

Willie Washington, 31, and Clarence Branford, 57, are charged with possession of a controlled substance in the 184th State District Court.

Houston police say HPD Narcotics Division officers were executing a search warrant about 1:30pm Thursday at 7221 Weber when they were attacked by a pit bull. According to police, an officer, fearing for his life and that of his fellow officers, discharged a shotgun at the animal, wounding it. The dog fled, then returned and charged the same officer a second time. The officer then drew his duty pistol and discharged it one time, killing the dog, police say.

Branford was slightly wounded in the incident, possibly by ricocheting pellets from the officer's shotgun, police say. Branford was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Officer J.C. Oliver, Jr., who discharged his duty weapon, was not injured in this incident. Officer Oliver, assigned to the Narcotics Division, was sworn in as an officer in December 2002.

Police say as is customary in HPD officer-involved shootings, this case will be investigated by the HPD Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions and the Harris County District Attorney's Office.