LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – For those in police uniforms decisions must be made in a matter of seconds.
But one officer’s decisive decision leaves one Lansing family mourning over the death of their dog.
What started as a search for a person who ran away from a traffic stop ended in deadly defense.
Lansing police say during the search a nearby dog became violent and forced an officer to pull the trigger.
And now the dog’s owners are speaking out.
You could call it a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Officers doing their jobs searching for a suspect encountering a dog doing it’s job of protecting it’s home.
A Lansing family is in shock after watching their dog get shot in their own front yard.
“He was a great loving dog he loved my kids,” said dogowner Darryl Melvin. “He was just a strong protector and I don’t blame him for what he did cause I would have done the same thing.”
Just before midnight last night Lansing police officers were searching for a suspect who ran from a traffic stop in the same Lansing neighborhood.
Officers got reports that their suspect was hiding in a home on the 4000 block of Ingham Street.
There they found a house with the door wide open and thought the suspect had broken into the house.
“When the officer approached that front door the door was open it was a screen door and there was a towel in the doorway,” explained Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski. “They pulled the towel aside and took a peek in with their flashlight and saw a very large german shepard dog.”
That german shepard’s name was Lobo.
And according to the homeowner he decided to protect his family the only way he knew how.
“He shouldn’t have died, especially an innocent dog and to an innocent family that didn’t have nothing to do with what they were doing,” added Melvin.
“Somehow, someway, the dog broke open the door and rushed the officer, immediately attacked the officers leg,” said Chief Yankowski. “The officer started screaming to get the dog off of him.”
After biting one officer police say the dog turned on another who then shot and killed it.
Melvin did tell me that despite being a protective pet Lobo did have a violent past and has bitten someone before.
Tonight, while police maintain everything was handled properly, Melvin is still asking the police department to buy him a new dog.