A Nampa police officer checking on a toddler standing in the street on Friday evening shot and killed a dog that came from a yard and chased the officer into the street.
The officer was responding to a call about illegal fireworks being set off in the area of 17th Avenue North and Second Street North at about 9 p.m. He noticed a small child, estimated to be about one year old, standing in the roadway in the 200 block of 17th Avenue.
The officer approached the child to make sure he was OK and to find a responsible adult. No adult was outside, but the officer spoke with a girl who was in a nearby yard. The officer learned that the child was the girl's brother and that their father was inside the house.
The girl went to get her father and as the officer waited, two dogs ran toward him through an open portion of the fence. One dog came out from the yard and chased the officer into the street, according to a report from the Nampa Police Department.
The officer backed up into the middle of 17th Avenue but the dog continued forward. The officer, who has not been publicly identified, shot the dog as the animal lunged at him.
The dog was taken to a local veterinarian, who later euthanized at the owner's request.
The use of lethal force by an officer is always a last option, police Chief Craig Kingsbury said. We do not want to hurt or kill any animals."
An investigation into the shooting will be conducted by the police department. The department's Office of Professional Standards will also conduct an internal investigation, routine for an incident where an officer uses lethal force.
A report will be forwarded to the Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney's Office for review.
The officer remains on active duty.
Because the incident happened very quickly, the officer did not have time to activate his audio or video recorder, Kingsbury said.
In March, Nampa police Tased and then shot an aggressive dog while serving a drug search warrant at a home on South Cassia Street. The dog lived and was taken for treatment.
A second dog at the residence bit an officer.
In 2012, a Nampa officer shot and killed a pit bull-mastiff dog after that dog and another came through an open doorway and attacked the officer. Video showed the shooting was justified and the dog's owner apologized to the officer.