Cops Accidentally Shoot Bystander While Firing at Pit Bulls

Officials said the suspected drug dealer fled on a bike and then ran into 70 Himrod street in Bushwick, where cops encountered the dogs and fired at them

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NYPD detectives opened fire on two pit bulls that charged at them while they were chasing a suspected drug dealer in Brooklyn Tuesday and accidentally shot a bystander in the leg, authorities said. News 4's Lori Bordonaro reports.

    NYPD detectives opened fire on two pit bulls that charged at them while they were chasing a suspected drug dealer in Brooklyn Tuesday and accidentally shot a bystander in the leg, authorities said.

    Officials said the suspected drug dealer fled on a bike and then ran into 70 Himrod street in Bushwick, where cops encountered the dogs and fired at them. A 22-year-old man who owned the dogs, identified by neighbors as James Earl Austin, was struck by a bullet as well as one of the pit bulls, police said. 

    Cell phone video captured by a witness shows Austin on the ground screaming in pain. 

    Austin is at Kings County Hospital with a bullet wound to his leg. Police said he is expected to be OK.

    The suspect police were chasing was arrested. There were no injuries to any of the cops involved.

    Witnesses at the scene said that one of the dogs was grazed in the paw by a police bullet. Witnesses also said that the dogs were tied up at the time of the shooting. 

    Neighbors said the dogs were docile and well cared for. 

    "They're not aggressive. He always keeps them on a leash," said Samuel Vega.

    "He walked those dogs everyday," said Isaac Holmes. 

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