Canton police have released body camera footage of an officer shooting a dog while responding to a domestic dispute last week, an incident that has caused an uproar in the community.
The footage shows law enforcement firing three bullets, at least one of which hit the dog. The officers involved claimed the animal was charging at them.
It all started with a 911 call on Thursday for a family dispute on Tyler Avenue Southeast.
"Tyler Avenue," the caller can be heard saying, through slurred speech. "You either come here or I'll be calling the coroner."
As the man yells at someone else to "stop it," the dispatcher attempts to calm him down. Police eventually arrived around 9:45 p.m. at the home owned by 33-year-old Amanda Bulick.
Among those at the house was a more-than-100-pound Cane Corso named Bella, and police could be heard repeatedly calling on those present to "get the dog inside." Then, as the dog trots towards officers while, shots are fired.
According to a police report, Bella "began bleeding profusely" after being hit and ran back inside the residence. Officers claim they attempted to save her life, but she ended up dying from her injuries.
On Tuesday, after receiving the footage, 3News went to the home and a neighbor told us Bulick was out for the evening. That neighbor further stated Bella would bark, but not bite, and that the dog was guarded by an electric fence. The neighbor also claimed police have been to Bulick's home several times and were aware of the dog's presence.
"We take the discharge of firearms by our officers very seriously," Canton Police Chief John Gabbard said in a statement to WKYC. "I have viewed the video and find it heartbreaking. The fact that these difficult situations are inherent in the nature of police work makes them no less devastating to everyone involved, including the officers."
In the bodycam video, children could be observed outside when Bella was shot. A witness later said they were incredibly upset by what happened.
The police report referred to Bella as "aggressive" and claimed the family "refused" to put her in the house. In the video, an officer can be heard saying he ordered them to restrain the dog "three times" before she was shot.