MCSO: Deputy 'justified' in shooting of pit bull

Posted at 2:46 PM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-09 09:06:10-05

A Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputy was "justified" in a weekend shooting that left a Mesa pit bull dead, according to officials.

During a Tuesday news conference, MCSO played two body camera videos that showed the dog advancing on a deputy as he was serving a search warrant Saturday at a Mesa home.

Watch the videos in the player above. WARNING: The video above does show the actual shooting of the dog. Viewer discretion is advised.

In a matter of a couple seconds, the pit bull, named "Blue," ran from inside the home and toward the deputy before the deputy fired a single shot, striking the dog. The dog was then seen returning to the house.

On camera a deputy is heard saying that he shot the dog because he was worried it was going to attack his partner.

Blue's owners, who allege the dog was discriminated against because of his breed, sought justice for their dog after confirming on Sunday that it had died from its injuries.

Debbie Holm said Sunday that her family did not believe Blue was being aggressive.

"He didn't come straight at these guys," she said. "He went all the way around the cars and he was outside and his little butt was wagging. He wasn't being threatening of any sort."

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the dog "was in the wrong place at the wrong time" and if it had been contained, "we probably wouldn't be talking about this incident."

MCSO officials say they have closed the case after reviewing the video.

Blue's owners say they plan on talking to an attorney.