Police shot family dog during counterfeit money investigation

Police shot family dog during counterfeit money investigation

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An investigation into counterfeit money used to pay a pizza delivery driver ended with a family dog shot by a Baton Rouge police officer.

"There was blood everywhere," said Johnikkia Robinson, owner of the slain dog. "It's still in my carpet. There's blood on the walls and in my yard. And nobody apologized for killing my dog."

It all started around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 10. Robinson had just placed her infant child in bed when she heard a knock at the door of her home located in the 1800 block of Spanish Town Road.

"I had my dog inside with me because it was cold outside," she recalled. "A pizza man came and knocked on my door. I cracked the door and told him I didn't order any pizza."

The delivery driver left the house and Robinson went about turning in for the night. She says it was about 10 minutes later when there was another knock at her door.

"The police came to the door and I cracked the door and had the dog on the chain," she said.

Police started questioning her about who lived in the home. She says they asked the father of Robinson's child to come outside to talk to them.

"When he stepped out, the dog stepped out, too, and was growling," Robinson admitted. "And then they pulled out their guns and shot my dog in the face."

Robinson was inside when the shooting happened. She says she heard three gun shots. Her dog ran inside, tracking blood on the floor along the way.

"It's so hard for me to talk about because I had him since he was three weeks old," Robinson said. "I watched him grow up big and to see him come back in the house coughing up blood, I just can't believe it."

Animal Control officers were called to the scene after the shooting. Robinson signed a release form to allow the agency to take her 1-year-old pit bull to the shelter for treatment.

"We brought the animal to the shelter, at which point the Companion Animal Alliance met the officer to examine the animal," said Hilton Cole, director for the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Shelter. "At that point they decided the animal should be euthanized."

Robinson said officers were at her home for roughly two hours from beginning to end. What she didn't know, however, is that the whole thing started with a call from the pizza delivery driver.

"Someone ordered a pizza that was supposed to be delivered to the address where the dog was located," explained Cpl. L'Jean McKneely, Baton Rouge Police Department. "After the driver was sent away from the door, a male walked up to the delivery driver and claimed the pizzas were for him. That person paid for them with counterfeit money, so the driver called and reported it to police."

The manager on duty at the Domino's Pizza located on Government Street confirmed that the order was placed and that the driver reported the incident to police. The manager tells us that the counterfeit money included six $20 bills.

"It was a very large order," the manager noted.

The case regarding the counterfeit money is still under investigation. The shooting of Robinson's dog, however, is considered a closed matter.

"The officer was issued a drug test, which is standard procedure," Cpl. McKneely noted. "The officer was not placed on paid administrative leave."

According to police as well as Animal Control investigators, the officer acted in self-defense.

"The officer obviously felt he was in danger," Cole noted.

"The officer said there were no trees to hide behind and no way to avoid the dog," Cpl. McKneely added.

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