VENICE (CBSLA.com) — An innocent woman was shot by police in Venice Friday after a bullet they fired went through a pit bull and struck her in the leg.
Witnesses said the shooting occurred when police tried to subdue a pit bull that was reportedly “out of control”
CBS2’s Dave Lopez was at the beach covering another story when he said he heard what sounded like a firecracker.
Minutes later, he went over to hear a man yelling, “You shot my dog, you shot my dog” at police.
Lopez then saw a woman who appeared to be bleeding being attended to by authorities.
Dave Lopez spoke to the woman who asked if the dog had bitten her.
She explained that she had been shot. The unidentified woman told Lopez she was riding her bike with her boyfriend on the boardwalk.
She told Lopez the bullet hit her in the lower portion of her leg. He said she was conscious but understandably upset.
Lopez tried to question the woman further, but he said police “shooed me away.”
He spoke to another witness.
“I heard a struggle,” said Tara Boris. “and the next thing I knew, I heard a shot. And I saw the dog laying there. I think the dog was just protecting his owner. ”
The pit bull is dead, Lopez reported.
KCAL9’s Rachel Kim picked up the story nightside.
Officials told her the situation started when mounted officers encountered a group of people whose belongings were allegedly blocking the bike path.
Police said one of the people was under the influence. When they got off their horses to investigate, police said a pit bull belonging to the group bit one of the officers on the hand.
That officer then shot and killed the dog.
Witness Mike Gains said the incident happened very fast and he saw the woman after she was struck by the bullet.
“She was bleeding in the leg,” he said, “and they took her away. They wrapped her leg and they said she’s going to be all right.”
Terah Clark is friends with the dog’s owner and was with the group involved in the encounter with police. She was asked how her friend was doing.
“For no reason, you had your dog by the collar. Your dog was just barking and they shot it. How would you feel?,” said Clark.
The dog owner was not arrested or cited but Kim reported that two people in his group were — one for an outstanding warrant and the other for resisting arrest.