Officer apologizes in bodycam video of Fourth of July shooting of family dog

VIDEO: Jacksonville police release body cam video of family dog shooting incident

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - The Jacksonville Police Department is disputing a family's claim after their dog was shot and killed on the Fourth of July.

What was supposed to be a night filled with fun ended in tragedy.

"When he had came inside, there was just blood dripping from his body from where he was shot," the owner's sister-in-law Bianca Pinuelas said.

On the Fourth of July, Jacksonville Police Officer Jenny Gillham was responding to calls about illegal fireworks within the city limits.

In the bodycam video released by police, the officer can be seen scanning the property with a flashlight.

"The officer was there because of a call to investigate a crime," Jacksonville Police Chief Andrew Hawkes said. "She was within the scope of our authority to enter property."

After scanning the property, Officer Gillham can be seen leaving, heading back to her car. That is when police say the German Shepherd began running toward her.

"I know guys, I'm sorry, he tried to bite me, I'm sorry," Officer Gillham said in the bodycam video.

Chief Hawkes says Officer Gillham followed the training she received when she joined the department on how to react when encountering an unrestrained animal, which is against code.

"The officer has less than three seconds to sop the aggressive action of the canine and protect herself from being bitten," Chief Hawkes said. "Officers do not have to wait until they are injured to protect themselves from injury, death or threat."

The family was en-route to a veterinarian in Tyler when the dog died.

"And I just kept petting him over and over," owner Stephanie Lacy said. "And Bubba kept clinging on to hope that he would live, but I knew he was gone."

Jacksonville Police say the investigation is not complete, however they have not found any wrong-doing by Officer Gillham.

The police chief says he wanted to set the record straight after a false narrative erupted on social media.

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