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Witness describes dog shot, killed at Bockfest 5K in Over-the-Rhine

One person was bit by unrestrained dog, police say
Classic Cincinnati: Bockfest turns 25
Posted at 3:21 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 12:42:09-04

CINCINNATI — A Cincinnati police officer shot and killed a dog during the Bockfest 5K race in Over-the-Rhine Saturday.

Cincinnati police spokesperson Emily Szink said around 11 a.m., an officer noticed a scuffle between two dogs near the corner of McMicken Avenue and Dunlap Street along the route of the 5K race. One of the dogs was on a leash, the other was not, CPD said.

Britt Born, who ran in the 5K, said while she was coming down the hill at McMicken, she noticed an unleashed dog running in the road. The dog was in good spirits and seemed to be enjoying the race, but didn't seem to belong to anyone nearby, said Born.

As the runners and the unleashed dog continued down the hill, Born said she noticed the unleashed dog head toward a man walking another dog on a leash, continuing the gait he'd had while running alongside the 5K runners.

"It was clear from my vantage point both the leashed dog and the owner were startled," she said.

From there, the situation got tense and Born said she saw the leashed dog snap at the unleashed dog and the situation suddenly escalated into a dog fight. Born said she broke into a sprint, raced toward the pair and began kicking between them to try and separate the dogs as they fought.

"This wasn't a random attack," said Born. She said she thinks it's possible the unleashed dog had simply escaped its owner, because its demeanor was that of a family dog, not an aggressive stray.

Cincinnati Police said an officer spotted the owner of the dog on the leash was struggling to separate the two dogs and was bit in the hand by the unrestrained dog and responded to the situation. The officer then fired a single shot at the unrestrained dog, but it continued to attack, Szink said.

Cincinnati police said the officer then fired a second shot and it caused the unrestrained dog to retreat. That dog later died at a vet clinic, CPD said.

The leashed dog was taken to the vet with numerous cuts to its body and face, and CPD said the vet discovered one of the bullets had passed through the unrestrained dog and struck the dog that was on the leash. That dog is expected to survive.

Born said when shots were fired the street was full of runners and she was standing within arms reach of the unleashed dog as it was shot.

"Honestly, I feel like I'm still traumatized by it all, I could have reached out and touched the unleashed dog when he shot him," she said.

She said she also finds it concerning that, according to CPD, one of the bullets passed through the unleashed dog.

CPD said they conducted an investigation and determined the officer "complied with departmental policy regarding the discharge of firearms."

Several hundred people attended and participated in the Bockfest 5K at the time of the shooting. The location of the shooting is at the first turn of the route and part of the homestretch into the finish line. The race started at 10 a.m.

"We understand that the scene was an emotional one for everyone involved, including the owners of both dogs, 5K participants, race spectators, and our officers," Szink said. "The city regrets the loss of the unleashed dog, but believes that the officer’s actions saved the other animal, its owner, and the public from more serious harm."

NEW: Body cam of incident released

Bockfest 5K route
Bockfest 5K route