A black Labrador named Max belonging to a family in Lafayette, Louisiana was shot and killed by a city marshal, who was looking to arrest its owner for outstanding traffic warrants.
Now the family may be cited by animal control for not having the dog on a leash.
The incident took place Monday when the marshal walked up to a home to arrest Bryant Marks for driving a vehicle with a suspended license and for a hit-and-run accident.
As he walked up to the door, Max came out from beneath the home and ran towards the marshal, which was when he was shot dead.
The marshal’s office has refused to release the body cam footage, but allowed KATC to view it, which described it as follows:
We saw that while an officer, approaching the door of the house, Max suddenly appears from underneath the house, without a leash, making it to the officers feet in a matter of seconds. That unnamed marshal fired two shots.
Family members and neighbors say Max was not an aggressive dog.
“You see that big cage? I mean you could assume that there’s a big dog there,” Mark’s mother, Helena Jolivette, told KATC. “It was lab. Labs are not aggressive.”
Like Jolivette, neighbors nearby say shooting the dog was unnecessary because Max was a sweet and well-behaved dog, who did not bark or ever lunged at anyone.
“[Max] doesn’t bite [and] doesn’t bark,” neighbor Matthew Carroll III told the station. “It wouldn’t attack anyone. It’s a beautiful dog.”
Another neighbor, Caitlyn Marshall, told The that she and all the children in the neighborhood would always play with Max because he “was a really friendly dog.”
“I’m surprised to hear it lunged at the officer. There are always people coming in and out of that house.”
Marshall said after hearing gunshots and screams, she stepped outside, only to find Marks in handcuffs and Max shot on the ground, visibly in pain.
She added that the Labrador was left unattended for nearly 20 minutes before being taken to the local vet.
Besides the shooting, what has the owner’s family and the neighbors more rattled is that they say they did not hear Max bark at all, only the loud popping sound of the gun shots.
“There was really nothing else he could do. It was a split-second decision that the officer had to make,” Chief Deputy Phil Conrad told KATC. “He didn’t see the dog walking up because the dog was hidden underneath the house. And as he got closer to the door to knock, the dog just came out and charged after him.”
The news of the shooting comes just three weeks after a surveillance video of another dog being savagely murdered, this time by a South Florida cop, went viral. Dutchess, a mix-breed pup who weighed 40-pounds, was shot in the head three times for no apparent reason.
As we’ve seen in other dog killing incidents, Conrad insists the marshal had no other choice.
“It was the only thing he could have done. If he could have gotten to his pepper spray he would have used it,” Conrad insists. “The video clearly shows quite differently there was no way for him to get to his pepper spray,” he added.
Conrad says in his 25 years on duty “this is the third time this has happened,” adding that the City Marshal who fired the shots felt terrible about what happened and offered to take Max to vet and pay all of the bills.
The Lafayette City Marshal’s office told KATC that they would not mind bringing Max’s family to view the video and are open to answering any questions related to the shooting.