City investigation underway while family looks for understanding
By S. Barot
For the Fort Bend Star
Just days after her dog Chapo was shot by a Missouri City police officer at her home during a barbeque, resident Lizzethe Pedregon wants answers.
Responding to a noise complaint on July 14, two officers came to Pedregon’s home around 11:47 p.m. The family’s security camera footage showed that neither officer went to the front door to announce their arrival and one of the officers proceeded toward the backyard gate. Both Pedregon and the City have differing stories as to what happened next.
In an online statement, the City stated “a dog approached in a manner that placed the officer in immediate fear for his safety. The officer called for someone to restrain the dog. The dog was not restrained. The officer drew his weapon and fired once striking the dog.”
While addressing city council on July 17, Pedregon said the officers didn’t knock on the gate and Chapo didn’t bark at them.
“I could hear across our yard and I was literally a couple of feet from the gate,” Pedregon told Council. “We didn’t hear the police say ‘police – turn it down’ or ‘grab your dog.’”
The City would not comment on the shooting but referred The Fort Bend Star to City Manager Anthony Snipes for a statement. The statement was read on July 17 at the city council meeting.
“First, I want to reiterate that the City is thoroughly investigating the public incident that occurred this weekend involving the unfortunate death of a local family’s beloved dog,” Snipes said. “The police department is reviewing all facets of this serious matter including applicable policies, procedures and training. The mayor and council will keep you apprised of the developments in that review and will provide you with an update once that is finalized.”
Pedregon told council that she wants to see the body camera footage. She also wants to know who is spearheading the investigation and would also like a copy of the dispatch report.
“I want to make sure they followed protocol – that they did what they were supposed to do,” Pedregon said. “And the biggest thing is the body camera – because that is going to answer all of our questions.”
The city did not say if it would release the footage of the body camera.