Police Officer Accidentally Shoots Woman Dead While Firing At Her Dog
A police officer has shot and killed a woman in the US while firing at her dog.
The rookie officer - who graduated from the police academy in February and had never fired his gun before - was attempting to shoot Margarita Brooks' Labrador mix as it ran towards him, but a stray bullet hit Brooks in her upper body and killed her.
The officer was responding to a welfare check in Arlington, Texas, after reports of a woman who appeared to be unconscious in a grassy area.
Bodycam footage released by Arlington Police shows the officer approaching on a pavement before calling out: "Hello. Are you OK?"
Brooks, 30, can be heard replying, "Yeah I'm fine," before the dog begins to run towards the officer.
The officer then asks, "Is that your dog?" and shouts "Get back!"
The cop can be seen firing three shots and Brooks can be heard screaming.
Brooks died in hospital and the dog suffered a bullet graze and has been been quarantined at the Arlington Animal Shelter.
A police statement read: "As the officer called out to the woman repeatedly concerning her welfare, the dog began to run towards the officer while barking.
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"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."
In a press conference, police chief Will Johnson described the incident as an 'absolute tragedy'.
He said: "Everything about this call is an absolute tragedy. Our hearts are broken for the Brooks family and for the officer involved.
"Our officer was on scene trying to find an individual who may be suffering from a medical emergency. Clearly, this is not the outcome the officer wanted, nor is it the outcome that the department wanted."
Justin Patton, who owns a nearby store, said the dog is never on a lead but is friendly.
Speaking to CBS, he said: "It was never on a leash. We saw that couple every single day with that dog. It would follow 'em out to the tree, up to the Walmart.
"It would interact with people, just sniff, tail wag and stuff. It was never on a leash. It was around people all day."
The shooting is now the subject of a criminal and an internal affairs investigation.
Featured Image Credit: Arlington Police