HORSESHOE BAY, Texas (KXAN) - A night of guitar playing around a camp fire took a terrible turn in Horseshoe Bay. A police officer responding to a report of a burn-ban violation shot and killed a man's dog early Saturday morning.
But the dog's owner, Joseph Nickes, and Horseshoe Bay police gave very different accounts of the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
"The officer stepped down with his gun drawn," Nickes said. "He never pulled out his holster he just said get your dog, and -- boom -- shot the dog."
The officer shot the 7-year-old pit bull named Presley in the head, killing him instantly. Nickes says his dog was over 20 ft away from the officer when he shot and killed him.
"Before I could say, 'Presley,' he shot my dog in the face on the other side of the ditch."
But Horseshoe Bay Police Chief Bill Lane painted a very different picture.
"The officer estimates at about three feet away he realized he was about to get bit," said Lane. "He absolutely felt threatened by the dog and said he was bearing it's teeth it was obviously in attack mode."
Nickes says he wants the department to do something about what happened because the officer didn't just kill his dog he put Nickes' family in danger.
"If my child would've been coming around the corner he could've thought it was dog and shot my kid from 20 feet away, it was dark," said Nickes.
Horseshoe Bay Police are saying the officer followed protocol, and was not at fault for killing the dog."
"He is regretful that he had to put the animal down none of us want to destroy someone's pet," said Lane. "But when they reach a point when they are in danger in public and theres no other options we have to do what we have to do."
It was a decision that has left a dog owner burying his bestfriend. Officers also left Nickes with two citations one for a burn ban violation, and the other for having a dog without a leash.
"I feel empty. The one joy in my life is gone the one thing that had unconditional love for me everyday is dead for no reason," said Nickes.
Horseshoe Bay Police say they this wasn't their first incident at the home involving the dog.
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