An NYPD officer shot and killed a dog when they came across it attacking a smaller dog in upper Manhattan Wednesday evening, the dog's owner police said.
The officers on patrol were walking out of the subway by Dyckman and Nagle avenues in Inwood at about 7 p.m. when they heard a woman screaming, law enforcement sources told NBC 4 New York.
The officers ran to the intersection to find a pit bull attacking a small Shih Tzu, police said. Someone was trying to separate the animals with an umbrella and officers opened fire when the larger dog turned on that person.
"I just heard a shot, like four, three shots," a witness named Ahmed said.
The 10-pound Shih Tzu that was attacked, named Jada, succumbed to its injuries from the attack and also died, according to police and Jada's owner, Joselin Delacruz.
"I'm very upset, I've had her since she was two years old," Delacruz said.
Delacruz said her friend had been walking Jada when the pit bull attacked. She said her friend unsuccessfully tried to pry the larger dog off, and the cops were also unable to physically get the dog off Jada.
"He was trying to get the dog off from the little one and he couldn't," she said. "I came running so I could take her to a clinic but he called again and she was already dead."
Delacruz was emotional as she spoke to reporters. She said she believes the police "of course" were justified and that it was "the only way" to stop the attack.
No people were injured, but Delacruz said it could have ended differently on a busy city street.
"It could have been a human being, it could have been a child and they could have been in a very bad condition right now," she said.
A large number of police investigated the scene, which authorities said was standard practice anytime an officer fires his weapon.