HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Officials say a Hampton Police Officer shot and killed two pit bull dogs that were described as vicious and roaming around unattended Saturday evening.
Dispatch received a call around 5:30 p.m. alerting them that the dogs were roaming around in the 100 block of Wilson Lane. Animal Control Officers had responded to a previous complaint about these two pit bulls in the same area last week, but were not able to locate the dogs.
Hampton Police responded to the area and began searching for the dogs. An officer saw them running southbound on North Mallory Street towards West Kelly Avenue.
Officials say the officer attempted to make contact with the dogs, but the dogs charged the officer. The officer went back to his police car and called for Animal Control Officers for backup.
The dogs headed into the backyard of a nearby home of West Kelly Avenue. The officer heard growling coming from the backyard a short time later and decided to walk toward the area, officials say.
After going to the backyard, the officer saw the two pit bulls attacking another dog. As the officer approached, both the pit bulls went after the officer again.
Officials say the officer fired his gun, and struck both dogs before they were able to attack him. Both dogs succumbed to their injuries. The dog the two pit bulls attacked was taken to a local animal hospital by owners for treatment for serious injuries.
Anna Wingate lives on West Kelly Avenue and says she was sitting on her couch when she heard shots go off. “I said what happened back there? Is someone back there shooting?,” she explained.
Wingate says she got up and went to look out a window in the back of the house. “There was a dog laying down there at the end of the yard. I said ‘is the dog dead?’ And my daughter said ‘yeah he dead’ and I seen the second dog and I didn’t see him until I went to walk away and I seen his head laying back by the building out there.”
Wingate’s daughter didn’t want to talk on camera, but she tells 10 On Your Side she saw a pit bull charging at the officer full speed in their yard. She believes the officer did what he had to do, and that it was clear he made the right choice.
Wingate says it was her son’s dog that had been attacked as it was tied up in the backyard.
10 On Your Side talked to other neighbors in the area that say they fed the unsupervised dogs just hours before the incident. “They were just running around like little kids jumping up and letting me pet them in stuff they weren’t wild, they weren’t vicious, they weren’t mean,” said Vicki Sampson.
Sampson says she tried calling animal control and the local SPCA to come get them, but were told they don’t come out on the weekends. She says this all could have been prevented had an agency picked them up.
Police say the owner of the two pit bulls has not been identified.
Animal Control Officers responded to the scene and the investigation is still ongoing.
Stay tuned on WAVY.com for updates.