3 injured after Sacramento officer shoots at dog outside Safeway


A security guard, a man and an “aggressive” dog were hurt by shrapnel after a Sacramento officer fired his weapon at the animal Wednesday night outside a Safeway store, police said.

Just before 7 p.m., the security guard called over an officer and said there was a man causing a disturbance who refused to leave the property at 19th and S streets in midtown, according to the Sacramento Police Department. 

The man did not listen to the police officer’s request to leave and argued with the officer.

One witness said the officer tried multiple times to peacefully resolve the situation.

The officer tried to detain the man, at which point the man’s dog became aggressive and bit the officer on the arm, police said.

The officer then called for backup. When more officers got to the store, the dog charged at one of the officers, according to police.

“Fearing for his safety, that officer discharged his firearm at the dog,” according to a Thursday news release from Sacramento police.

KCRA anchor Brian Heap was at the scene and saw the incident unfold.

According to police, the bullet struck the ground and fragmented, hitting the security guard in the leg and the man in the face. Both were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Several shoppers said Wednesday that the dog ran into the supermarket and appeared to be bleeding.

“The pharmacist said, ‘Police to the pharmacy,'” said Bonnie Eisner, who was shopping at Safeway. “I went back because I was there and went to see if somebody was hurt. The dog was bleeding all over and was very scared.”

A veterinarian found a minor injury on one of the dog’s back legs. The wound was consistent with being caused by shrapnel, police said Thursday.

Another shopper, who also volunteers at Front Street Animal Shelter, said she stayed with the frightened dog until help arrived.

“We were just shopping, and then we saw a dog come running up to us,” said Jandy Jorgensen, who helped the dog. “She was bleeding. There was quite a lot of blood. She was shaking like a leaf, and she ran up to us and went between our legs. We didn’t know where she came from. We didn’t hear any commotion or anything.”

Former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinnis weighed in Thursday on the officer-involved shooting.

“I think that the conduct was, frankly, appropriate given the threat that was posed to the people around there,” he said.

Some Sacramentans wonder if the officer had other options.

“He could have used mace or something or called for SPCA or something,” said shopper Deanna Simon.

McGinnis said officers are trained to use different tools based on the size and breed of an animal.

“There’s some animals upon which pepper spray can be effective, not all,” he said. “A Taser is not going to be effective on an animal of that nature and is time-delayed to discharge that Taser, in which time that animal, an aggressive animal, can hurt or worse an innocent human being.”

With three injured in the shooting, people question the officer’s use of deadly force in a crowded area.

“They should learn how to use their weapons instead of, like, now they’re hurt. Now, they’re injured,” Simon said.

McGinnis said officers are trained to weigh dynamic safety concerns for all people in a situation.

“Honing one’s skills to get better at increasing the desired outcome, the likelihood of the desired outcome, is always fair,” he said. “But if I were in a position where I were subject to attack by a vicious dog or injury, non-life-threatening injury, by shrapnel, I’d take the shrapnel, frankly.”

Per Sacramento City Council policy, video and audio of the incident will be released to the public within 30 days.

The Sacramento Police Department’s Homicide Unit is investigating the shooting. The Office of Public Safety Accountability and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office are monitoring the investigation.


One thought on “3 injured after Sacramento officer shoots at dog outside Safeway

  1. “The dog was bleeding all over and was very scared.”

    There is only ONE reason for something like this to happen.


    A properly trained dog would never have attacked, and therefore would likely not have been shot (although that IS a major trend among the pigs these days, so it’s debatable).

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