Family wants answers after officer fatally shoots dog at party

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A family says an officer entered their gated yard and shot their dog without warning, but the officer disputes the claim.

It began as a noise complaint involving a party Friday night in a Missouri City subdivision. A few minutes later, a family dog was shot in the head.

"A neighbor asked us to turn down the music, and we did," said Lizz Pedragon.

Thirty minutes later, she said Missouri City police arrived.

"We had a barbeque, and there were seven kids and five adults in the backyard," she said.

There was also Chapo, their two year old pit bull that was part of the family since he was a few weeks old.

"He was sweet, and always friendly to everybody," she said.

Most of all, her two daughters loved him.

Security video shows two police units arriving. One officer is visible, while the other is out of view. Neither go to the front door, but walk out of frame to the back yard.

"They opened the gate, and pretty much, as soon as they saw Chapo, they shot. That's it," Pedragon said.

The Missouri City Police Department issued a statement Sunday evening.

"The officer called for someone to restrain the dog as he backed away from the dog. The dog continued growling and approaching the officer. The officer fearing imminent bodily injury drew his weapon and fired once striking the dog," the statement read.

Pedragon disputes that.

"They didn't give us any warning," she said. "If they would have yelled police or announced themselves, we would have heard."

Chapo was still alive after he was shot.

"We were upset and kept saying 'why did you shoot our dog?"

A supervisor was requested, and the family pleaded to have the dog taken to a vet. They said they were told the injury was catastrophic, and that even with surgery, he might not survive. The decision was made to euthanize Chapo.

In a Facebook post, Pedragon wrote, "Chapo did not growl, did nothing, and he gets shot in the head? He was an American Bully, so because he's considered an aggressive breed, you shoot him?"

She also posted videos of her two daughters playing with him, one of them entitled "Tea Time with Chapo." In it, her 7 year old daughter gives him water from a child's tea party cup. In another, she tells him to sit and shake hands, which he does. Chapo was known for sneaking in the girl's beds and crawling under the covers.

"He loved to snuggle," said Pedragon.

An internal review of the shooting is underway. Pedragon and her husband want to see the police body cam video, and they also intend to file an internal affairs complaint. They also question why a gun was fired with children just a few feet away. The hardest part, they said, was telling their girls that part of their family is gone.

7 year old Arlene said she's cried a lot since Friday night.

"The policeman was scared of dogs," she said, "He shot him in the head. He was my only dog, and I miss him."

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