Bockfest 5K fatal dog shooting: Body cam video of incident released by Cincinnati police

Officer who shot dog: 'I didn't have a choice'
Bockfest 5K dog shooting: Dog that was leashed
Posted at 12:21 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 20:37:10-04

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Police Department released body camera video Wednesday providing new insight into the deadly police shooting of a dog who attacked another dog three weeks ago during the Bockfest 5K race in Over-The-Rhine.

The body camera video requested by WCPO 9 includes the aftermath of the shooting and comments made by the officer who shot and killed the dog, but it does not include footage of the actual shooting. WCPO 9 reviewed the body cam video but has not yet published the video due to the graphic and traumatic images of the injured dogs.

"It was going to kill that other dog," the officer told a man who was a friend of the dog's owner. "I apologize. I didn't have a choice. I shot the dog."

In a previous statement, CPD said the officer fired two shots at the attacking dog around 11 a.m. after that officer noticed a scuffle between the two dogs near the corner of McMicken Avenue and Dunlap Street along the route of the 5K race, which had hundreds of participants at the time of the shooting.

One witness told officers on body camera video that 4 to 5 people were nearby when the officers shot at the dog.

Body camera video shows the dog that had been shot sitting upright along the route of the race while a constant stream of runners pass directly next to it. Then, moments later, following heavy breathing, the dog laid down on the street.

According to police, the dog owner's friend said the dog got loose and ran from their house into the crowd along the race course.

Police interviews with witnesses indicate the incident began when the loose dog approached two men holding their dog on a leash.

Police said the loose dog attacked the dog on the leash. Bystanders said they were unable to separate the dogs enough to stop the attack. The officer described it as an unprovoked attack and said the attacking dog was standing there when the other dog ran up and latched onto the leashed dog's neck. The officer then fired a single shot at the unrestrained dog, but it continued to attack, CPD said. Cincinnati police said the officer then fired a second shot and it caused the unrestrained dog to retreat.

The unrestrained dog later died.

Body camera video shows the leashed dog's face was covered in blood.

One witness told police that the dog had been bitten in the face and side.

The victim dog's owners took her to an animal hospital after giving a brief statement to police. That 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.

The Cincinnati officer said he didn't activate his body camera before the shooting.

CPD said the shooting complied with department policy.

We are working on an edited video for this story and will have more in our newscast at 6 p.m. We will update this article with more.

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

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported the officer was bit in the hand by the unrestrained dog. The owner of the leashed dog was the one who was bit.