Slain Pa. officer had pointed stun gun at 2 dogs

AP News
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Posted: Aug 12, 2011 9:47 PM
Slain Pa. officer had pointed stun gun at 2 dogs

A police officer slain while responding to a domestic disturbance in a small eastern Pennsylvania borough had pointed a stun gun at two dogs before being shot, according to court records.

The Morning Call of Allentown reports Freemansburg police Officer Robert Lasso had pointed at the attacking dogs when the homeowner pulled out a shotgun and fired the fatal blast Thursday evening.

In police custody later, the alleged gunman, 46-year-old George Hitcho Jr., said he had told Lasso to get off his property and not come on unless he had a warrant, authorities said.

"He tried to kill my dogs and pointed a gun in my face," Hitcho said, according to the documents. "I do not care if you a cop or not ...Unbelievable ... ."

The officer had been responding to a report of a disturbance and ended up at the back of Hitcho's house, authorities said, where Police Chief George Bruneio also arrived after Lasso had requested assistance. Bruneio instructed the officer to "shoot the dogs" and that's when the homeowner pulled out a shotgun and fired, authorities said.

Lasso, 31, a married father of two, was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has ordered flags in the Capitol complex and in Northampton County to be flown at half-staff to honor Lasso.

At a news conference Friday, Lasso's family said they were devastated.

"Robert, he was so good," said his mother, Elsie Stem. "He was so loved, especially by his kids. Now they have to grow up without a daddy. It's not fair."