Auburn police officer shoots, kills family's pit bull

AUBURN, Wash. -- An Auburn family is heartbroken after a police officer shot and killed their pit bull, and now they want to know why the shooting happened.

Thirteen-year old Jacob Brewington said his whole family was home Thursday evening when their 7-year-old pit bull, Lala, was shot by police.

An officer was in the area investigating a report of vandalism across the street when he approached the Brewington home. The officer didn't make it all the way to the door, and moments later Lala was dead.

"(The officer) heard some growling. He looked up he saw a large dog growling, bearing its teeth at him," said Auburn Police Commander Mike Hirman.

Hirman said the dog then jumped out of a window and the officer began backpedaling off the porch.

"It was very aggressive and the officer felt he had no choice," Hirman said. "Either get bit or shoot the dog, and that's what he did."

Jacob thinks there must have been a way for the officer to get out of the situation without using deadly force.

"I just feel like that should not have happened. Like, he should have used a Taser or something, not two shots to the head," he said.

Animal Control Officers say they've been to the house before -- including just last month -- for the family's other dog, Hunter. Neighbors complained Hunter was aggressive, but there have been no complaints about Lala.

The family says Lala was a gentle dog and never aggressive.