SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego's police chief said Friday that an officer's fatal shooting of a pit bull is being reviewed internally to determine if authorities acted properly.
"As with any officer-involved shooting, we thoroughly take a look at all the circumstances," Shelley Zimmerman told reporters, without elaborating.
Police have said the officer shot the dog as a last resort to avoid getting bitten. The department said the owner failed to restrain the dog after trying to block the animal from leaving a home in the city's Pacific Beach neighborhood, where officers were responding to a domestic violence call involving allegations of strangulation.
Police said the officer tried to retreat before firing the gun.
"We understand the depth of emotion involved in this situation. The preservation of life is our top priority and this includes the lives of animals," the department said in a statement.
KNSD-TV has identified the owner as Ian Anderson, who said the 6-year-old named Burberry was "the best dog in the entire world."
Anderson told the station that the dog was startled when an officer yelled at the animal to return inside. He said the officer shot the dog in the head.
Police made no arrests on the domestic violence call, said Lt. Scott Wahl, a department spokesman.