Family upset after Tehachapi police officer shoots dog

Officer says dog charged him

A Tehachapi police officer is on administrative leave after shooting a dog Tuesday.

The shooting happened at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at a home in the 400 block of East F Street.

Tehachapi Police Chief Jeff Kermode told 23ABC News that Officer Zachary St. John was called out for a code enforcement check on a trailer parked in the street in front of a home.

Kermode told 23ABC News that St. John knocked repeatedly on the door and got no answer, but he heard the dog barking inside.

"So apparently he was walking back out to his car to write a warning notice and he heard the front door open and the homeowner's dog apparently jumped over a three foot fence and was making a beeline toward the officer," said Chief Kermode.

23ABC spoke with the family of the Labrador, Terrier Mix, who said they're confused on why the officer fired. They said he should've used pepper spray or something non-lethal.

"The guy didn't try to run away or defend himself. He just pulled his gun out and boom, boom, boom. It happened that quick," said Scott Black.

Kermode told 23ABC News that the officer tried to back away, but only had a couple seconds to react and was afraid the dog was going to attack him so he shot the dog twice.

Kermode said one of the bullets hit the dog. The dog was taken into custody by Kern Co Animal Services Officers and was then taken to local veterinarian.

The dog is expected to make a full recovery.

Kermod said the department hopes to have the investigation wrapped up in a couple days.

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