Investigation underway after off-duty animal control officer reportedly shoots family pet

Arp, Texas (KETK) - An investigation is underway into the shooting death of a family pitbull. 

Witnesses reported seeing an off-duty animal control officer with Tyler shooting the pitbull.

KETK did try to get in touch with the officer, but we were unable to speak with him. 

The family and neighborhood are explaining their side of what happened. 

WHAT THEY SAW

For many people, dogs are not just pets. To the Ballah family, the almost five-year-old "Lulu" was one of their own.

"All of my kids were right here. He could have very easily said 'come get your dog,'" said Lulu's owner, Lindsay Ballah.

Saturday afternoon, her family was outside of their home in Arp, children were playing and Lindsay let Lulu out to use the restroom.

"He didn't even give us a chance to get to our baby before he shot her in the temple and I held her until her heart stopped beating," said Lindsay.

She said her neighbor, who is a Tyler Animal Control Officer, was off duty when he pulled the trigger. KETK is not releasing his name. Her son, 14-year-old Landan, said he was about eight feet away, standing at the end of the driveway when it happened. 

"I was trying to walk up and I was calling to her," said Landan. "It was too late. He just pulled it out, pointed it at her and shot her."

They said Lulu is a friendly dog, so she was walking up to play with the man's dog and that's when he shot her. They said the man said he was fearing for his life. 

"The only mean thing she could do is sit there and lick you. She wouldn't even hurt a fly," said Lulu's neighbor, Elissa Petrey. 

All of the neighbors around Sunday said they have never seen Lulu nip or bite anyone. 

Lindsay's youngest daughter, two-year-old Hope, has autism.

"Lulu was very motherly so when she (Hope) was having a breakdown, she just licked her and calmed her down," she said. "Dogs really help with the autism." 

Much of their frustration, besides Lulu's death, is that he discharged a firearm with many children close by.

"I don't know why he would kill a dog if he was animal control, because he's really supposed to save dogs not kill them," said Lulu's sister, nine-year-old Jaycie Ballah.

Tyler Police said the Arp Police Department is investigating this case and the Mayor of Arp confirmed that. 

 

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