CCN - Alexis Gamino says she loves all animals, but she is especially fond of her dog. Apollo was a 14-month old German shepherd-pit bull mix.
“He made me laugh a lot,” Alexis, 6, said of the canine.
That was before a suburban police officer from the Hometown Illinois Police Department shot and killed Apollo. Now that officer has been fired after shooting the young family dog.
The small community backed up eye-witnesses who said that an officer from the Hometown Illinois Police Department killed the dog in front of its owners. Young Alexis saw it all.
“My quick reaction was to grab her and run inside because she fell to the floor and started screaming,” Nicole Echlina, Apollo’s owner said.
Echlin explained to local reporters that Apollo had run out of the front door. The Hometown police had been alerted, and encountered the dog as he made his way back to the front yard. Echlin tried calling the young dog back in the house, but he turned and growled his teeth at one of the officers who interrupted the coaxing by trying to grab the dog. That’s when the officer drew his weapon and fired one shot, killing the dog.
The officer showed no remorse.
“He just said it had to be done. He walked up to me, told me that and walked away,” Echlin said.
Watch the local report below:
The shooting generated tremendous anger in the community. Several people starting a Facebook page called “Justice for Apollo.” The officer was put on administrative leave, and after the investigation, the Hometown police chief fired the officer who was a 15-year veteran of the department.
“This has been really an emotional roller coaster for the community, naturally for the victim’s family, my heart goes out to them, and it’s been an emotional roller coaster for my police department,” said Chief Charles Forsyth, of the Hometown Illinois Police Department.
Meanwhile, in cities like Ferguson, Missouri and Beavercreek, Ohio, protester have been demanding day in and day out that the officers who shot and killed unarmed African Americans be at the very least fired, if not criminally prosecuted. Some are drawing attention to and juxtaposing the way the Hometown Illinois Police Department responded to an officer killing a dog, with the way officers are so often treated when the shoot and kill unarmed African Americans.