JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - Jacksonville police held a press conference after a family's dog was shot by an officer on July 4.
The officer was responding to a call about illegal fireworks within the city, and she approached the home of Stephanie Lacy and her family during that call. During that call, the family's dog was shot.
A departmental administrative inquiry has been opened about the incident as is standard procedure, according to police. At this time the incident is still under investigation.
During the press conference, Jacksonville Police Department Chief Andrew Hawkes stated that the officer was within the scope of her authority to enter the property.
Hawkes addressed several rumors, saying that there were "accusations and non-facts circulating."
One accusation was that the officer came to the Lacys property "for no reason not even for a call literally nothing," according to a JPD press release.
The chief disputed that comment, saying "JPD received a call for service for an ordinance violation, discharging of fireworks on Heath Lane at 2151 hours."
He also stated that the dog was outside of the house at the time of the incident.
The dog was a German shepherd weighing approximately 100 pounds, according to the police department.
Hawkes said interviews were conducted, photos were shot and a recovered shell casing was collected. He also said the officer apologized multiple times.
Body cam footage, shown during the conference shows the officer talking with the family saying, "I know guys. I'm sorry. He tried to bite me."
"Officers do not have to wait until they are injured to protect themselves from injury threat or death," Hawkes said. "I will always defend my officers' right to protect themselves," Hawkes stated.
Two other officers responded to the scene and Hawkes said the family was given the number to an emergency veterinarian but the dog later died.