A Waco police officer shot and killed a family’s dog after responding to the wrong address during a burglary call, the department said Monday.
The shooting happened shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday. Waco police dispatchers received a call from a woman who said a man kicked in her door, pleading with officers to respond quickly, the department said.
A male’s voice could be heard in the background saying “I’m not trying to hurt you” before the call was disconnected, police said.
When dispatchers entered the home’s address in a computer system, the address “autocorrected,” the department said. The dispatcher sent the officers to the 3200 block of North 20th Street, while the call originated from the 3200 block of North 20th A Street, one block west. The “A” was not included in the dispatcher’s directions to officers, the department said.
Responding to the wrong address, officers saw a door ajar. Officers “announced their presence” before “multiple dogs came toward officers who retreated,” the department said. The department did not say whether the officers entered the property.
One dog lunged twice toward an officer, the department said. After the second lunge, the officer shot the dog.
The dog, a 10-year-old black lab named Finn, died at a veterinary clinic. Waco police said a commander “met the family at the clinic, offered his sympathy, and provided information regarding services provided as a result of the incident.”
“We are regretful of the outcome regarding our response that resulted in the death of Finn,” the department said in a statement on Facebook, adding that dispatchers and officers will work to confirm that addresses put into their computer-aided dispatch system are accurate.
“We are engaging the CAD system manufacturer to ensure that steps are taken to prevent any similar occurrence,” the statement said. “Additionally, dispatchers will be directed to evaluate any address that occurs on any of the streets that have an adjacent ‘A’ street.”
No injuries were reported and no arrests were made from the original burglary call, the department said.
A GoFundMe posted by a friend of Finn’s owner described the officer as “trigger happy.” The fundraiser had raised more than $4,600 as of Tuesday afternoon to hire a lawyer on the family’s behalf.