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Officers Fire Multiple Shots at 8-Month-Old Pit Bull

The Philadelphia Inquirer

April 19, 2011

Camden, Penn. — What appeared to be bullet holes in at least two cars, a house window, and near a doorway on Lemuel Street in Camden suggested a gunfight.

But witnesses said the scene was the remnants of police firing on a pit bull around 9 p.m. Friday.

More than 100 feet and across the street from where the dog fell, a bullet shattered a piece of Delia Rodriguez’s front window. She had grabbed her grandchildren off a living room couch, pulled them to the floor, and flopped onto them for protection.

Another bullet hit her daughter’s minivan parked in the driveway, sending her two adult daughters scrambling out of the already open doors. They stumbled and fell over each other to get back into the house Friday night.

Days after the shooting in the Baldwin’s Run neighborhood, some residents recounted Monday what they said was a chaotic scene involving several officers firing a barrage of shots at a dog that was, according to a few residents, playfully galloping up the street. A city spokesman said the dog attacked the officers, who had responded to an unrelated call for a neighborhood disturbance.

The officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative duties while an investigation continues, which is department policy for shootings involving police, according to a statement from the city.

Police Chief Scott Thomson did not respond to text messages for comments Monday.

One witness, who did not want to be identified, described hearing what sounded like gunshots before the pit bull “came chasing like he was going to attack the police officer” — and before officers drew their weapons.

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