PANAMA CITY -- Panama City police are investigating an officer involved dog shooting. It happened last Thursday in the Cove area, where a resident called about an aggressive pit bull. The police department is looking into the case to determine if the use of force was justified.
June Miller claims a neighbor's dogs were loose in the neighborhood last week, acting aggressively toward her son.
"He was on his way to school riding his bike and the next thing I knew a friend of my older son's pulled up and said that he was surrounded by pit bulls,” Miller said.
Miller called Panama City police. When Officer Shane Tholke arrived on scene, he went to the owner's house.
He claims the dogs were on the porch, but not on leashes and they were acting aggressively toward him. He shot both dogs.
"I'm certainly not going to second guess his decision. He's the one on scene, he's the one that has been trained, he's the one that can make those decisions," Panama City Police Dept. Major Mark Aviles said.
Police also say one of the dogs' owners, Jacob Creighton, may have violated city ordinances by allowing them to roam free without supervision.
Creighton was unavailable for an interview, but has reportedly said the dogs are not aggressive. He says neighbors have his and his mother's dogs mixed up with his brother's two dogs, which are supposedly aggressive.
Some neighbors on Bonita Avenue say they've never had an issue with any loose dogs.
"Some of the neighbors, they see a pit bull they think they’re mean, they just automatically consider it an aggressive dog and that's not true at all. There’s tons of nice pit bulls," neighbor Brandon Fontenot said.
Both dogs are being treated at a local vet's office. No one was hurt during the incident. Police are still investigating.
People who violate the city's Leash Law face a $200 fine.