By Stephanie Baer Tribune reporter 3:32 p.m. CDT, July 27, 2014
A family dog was allegedly shot and killed in front of a 6-year-old girl by a police officer in southwest suburban Hometown Friday afternoon.
The dog’s owners said their one-year-old German Shepherd mix, named Apollo, had run out the front door of their house on the 8700 block of Beck Place around 2:20 p.m. and had returned to the front lawn when police arrived.
“I walked over and I tried to call him inside. The police officer had his gun out already,” said Nicole Echlin, one of the dog’s owners. Her 6-year-old daughter walked with her.
“He started showing his teeth — that’s when the officer shot him,” said Echlin, 27. “I didn’t know that was going to happen.”
Echlin then grabbed her daughter, who had fallen to the ground crying, and rushed her inside.
“That’s going to be in her head probably forever,” Echlin said.
Hometown police said the incident was under investigation and that information about what happened would be available on Monday.
From Chief Forsyth:
On 7/25/14 Police Dispatch received a phone call (recorded call on file) from the dog owners home that their dog a 16 month shepard/pit mix was loose and requested the Police to watch out for the dog.The Officer located the dog in the area and followed it back to its home. The Officer reports while attempting to coax the dog back into the house the dog turned, growled and approached him in a threatening manner. The Officer then withdrew his service weapon and fired one shot striking the dog. Although the Officer may have been justified under the Illinois Use of Force statute governing deadly force, I have made the decision to terminate that Officers employment with the Hometown Police Department. In addition, all reports and witness statements will be forwarded to the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit to be reviewed.
Owners raise questions over alleged police shooting of dog
Scialabba has created a Facebook page “Justice for Apollo” and is planning a rally outside the police department next Sunday.