MINNEAPOLIS - The Minneapolis police officer who opened fire on two dogs in a residential yard states the pitbulls "rushed" toward him and were growling when he fired his gun, according to a police report obtained by KARE 11.
The July 8 incident was captured on surveillance video, which the homeowner posted on Facebook -- and which quickly went viral. In the video, the officer is shown entering the residence's fenced-in back yard, before shooting at the two dogs.
Now, for the first time, we're hearing what happened in the officer's own words.
Officer Michael Mays states in his report, obtained through a data practices request, that he and his partner were responding to an audible residential alarm on the 3800 block of Queen Avenue North when he walked to the back of the residence and saw the rear door was open. He also states he saw the owner's surveillance camera.
"It was at that point, I aired via radio that there was an open rear door and needed another squad to my location…. along with K9," the officer reports.
The rest of his report is, as follows:
While staging at the northwest corner of the house, I observed a white pitbull rushing towards me from inside the residence. I back peddled towards the garage area while giving loud verbal commands "GET BACK."
The dog slowed down for a short time frame, but continued to growl at me while taking a few more steps towards me. Noted, the 6-8 foot fence was wrapped all the way around, making it uneasy for me to remove myself from the rear yard without turning my back.
After the dog took a few more steps towards me, I fired one shot at the dog, causing it to fall over. The dog then got up and ran back into the residence. After firing the first shot, I observed a larger size blue nose pitbull come rushing towards me from inside the residence. I pointed my firearm at the second dog and fired off three shots. The second dog first fell to the ground and got back up, and eventually ran back into the residence.
Mays notes in the report that he then walked around to the front of the residence and spoke with owner Jennifer LeMay's daughter, Courtney.
"I first explained why we were there and then apologized for what took place," he writes.
It was at that point, Mays states, that he learned the burglary had not taken place. According to the police report the wrong code had been entered and LeMay's daughter had forgotten that she had left the rear door open.
LeMay has hired an attorney and she says her family wants the officer prosecuted for filing a false report.
Minneapolis Police told KARE 11 they can't release the body camera video at this time, citing the state statute regarding body cameras but didn't give a specific reason.
The incident launched an investigation into the officer's actions, as well as prompting the department to respond with updated mandatory training on how to handle encounters with animals.