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Mesa police officer shoots dog in April incident, bullet grazes another officer

Posted at 6:45 PM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-15 00:24:53-04

Mesa police released blurry body-camera video Friday of an April incident where an officer was hurt by friendly fire after another officer shot at a dog. 

In their report, investigators said two officers responded to a noise complaint April 1st at an apartment near Gilbert Road and Main Street.

A neighbor reported loud music and a barking dog inside the second-floor unit. 

Two officers confronted the man living in the apartment, who they said was drunk. After the man refused to identify himself, a struggle ensued, and the man managed to break away and lock himself inside.

After some time, the man is seen opening the door when a second struggle began. 

Police said an officer was bitten by a pit bull and tried wrestling it and using his stun gun to break free.

When that didn't work, the officer reportedly fired his gun. The bullet reportedly went through the dog's neck and hit another officer in the groin.

"People are moving and rolling around, so the round inadvertently struck the officer," said Mesa Police Association President Nate Gafvert, adding "friendly fire" situations are rare.

As for shooting the animal, he said there was no other choice.

The report said the dog was expected to survive. Gafvert said the dog died.

"Unfortunately the only way we can stop the dog from [biting] is by using some kind of force," he said.

"Wrestling with the dog and the subject they were dealing with was absolutely not working, so they had to quickly come up with a solution, and unfortunately that's often with lethal force." 

According to police records, Isaac Smith was arrested on suspicion of several charges, including resisting arrest.