GALT, Calif. (KTXL) — Some who witnessed a shooting in a Galt neighborhood say it never needed to happen and that the bullet could have hit any one of them.
“I saw him going around like this with the gun, and when the dog got over in that direction, he shot at it,” said witness Monty Stanley.
Stanley was enjoying an afternoon picnic with his 2-year-old grandson and coworkers when through the fence he saw a Galt police officer pointing a gun at a dog.
“There was no reason for him to approach the dog,” Stanley said. “The dog just didn’t come and say, ‘I’m going to attack the officer in the middle of the road.’ You know what I mean? He went to the dog.”
Earlier in the day, resident Adriana Mejia had reported the animal, believed to be a pit bull wearing a collar, to police after she says it cornered her grandmother and lunged at her sister.
“He bit her and then my grandma managed to get inside. Then, they called the cops because he was aggressive, and he was out in the street. We have a lot of people who walk their dogs and play on the street and everything. And it just wouldn’t be safe for them,” Mejia said.
They had been waiting for animal control to arrive when witnesses say the officer approached the dog, used pepper spray and then opened fire.
“He discharged it unsafely in the directions of folks. I say, he discharged it toward us,” Stanley said. “And us three say, he discharged it toward us. I’m thinking about my grandbaby. I have a 2-year-old grandbaby there running around, playing over there, he’s shooting low. What if it just trajectionally goes over?”
Stanley and his coworkers say the officer didn’t need to discharge his weapon and endanger people living in the neighborhood.
“He should have paid attention to his surroundings and background when shooting,” said witness Tom Nelson.
But Mejia feels the shooting was justified.
“I’m upset about it. Part of why I didn’t want to get the cops involved was because I knew that this would happen either way. Either the dog would get shot or he would be put down once he was caught. But because there was people out on the street and (the dog) was still charging (the officer) after getting pepper-sprayed, I think he made the right decision for himself and everyone else,” Mejia said.
It’s still unclear who the dog belonged to and why it was wandering Amador Avenue in the first place.
“The shooting of the dog did not have to take place,” Stanley said.
FOX40 reached out to police about the incident and are still waiting to hear back.