by: Liz Artz Updated:
DECATUR, Ga. - The owner of two dogs that got loose and held a woman and her grandchildren hostage in their car at her DeKalb County home said the dogs were not vicious.
Cordelia McDowell had just pulled up to her Decatur home Monday with her three grandchildren, when she said two massive dogs trapped them inside their car. McDowell frantically dialed 911.
She told the operator ”they won’t even let us out of our car."
Two DeKalb County police officers arrived, McDowell said when they stepped out of their patrol car, the dogs came after them. The officers fired at the dogs hitting one in the leg. McDowell said the officer had no choice but to shoot.
"The dog charged them, they had no choice but to shoot the dogs,” She told Channel 2’s Liz Artz.
The owner of the dogs said they were massive, about 140 pounds and looked very intimidating. He admitted to training the Cane Corso and German shepard/Doberman mix to guard the property of his nearby business, but he said he did not believe they would hurt anyone.
The officers fired several rounds at the dogs. The bullets ricocheted hitting a neighbors window and McDowell’s tire. She told Artz she was terrified by the gun fire and told her kids to get down.
"I was scared to death. I was scared, I was praying. I told my grandkids, ‘Get down, get down. Everybody got down in the car,’” McDowell said.
DeKalb County Police Major TS Voss said there is an internal affairs investigation examining the conduct of his two officers. He does feel they were justified in shooting at the dogs. McDowell also thought the officers were justified in shooting.
Cowboy, the Cane Corso was hit in the leg. His owner said because of his size, he had to put him to sleep. Voss told Artz no one other than the dog was injured.
[Was there any danger posed to the neighborhood or people around during shooting?] “I don't believe so and the proof is nothing happened to them,” Voss said.
The owner of the home where the bullet went through the living room window also felt the officers were justified. She said they had a horrible problem with loose dogs running the streets.
The dogs’ owner said he wished police could have slowed them without using a deadly weapon.