Officers kill man after police dog stabbed


Officers kill man after police dog stabbed

[quote]Roseville Police Chief Rick Mathwig says officers were called to an apartment building about 10 p.m. Wednesday because neighbors heard pounding coming from the man’s unit. Mathwig says officers also heard the pounding and forced their way into the man’s apartment.

The chief says the 52-year-old man was found hiding in a closet with a large knife. Mathwig says the man made a stabbing motion, striking the dog in the jaw. That’s when officers opened fire, killing the man. The chief hasn’t said how many officers shot the man, but five officers involved in the incident are on administrative leave, per protocol.

Excerpted, we will have to see what else develops out of this but initially, it sounds like an overreaction to me. Yes, compelling reasons I am sure can be made as to the officers shooting the suspect.

The story said the police went to these apartments because they heard a lot of pounding in it at 10 PM at night.

Victim not identified.


I also think the officers overreacted or were scared of the man. If they were gonna shoot, why not shoot at the legs instead?


Police typically lie about these sorts of incidents. Even if there were five witnesses, video footage and audio of the officers discussing illegal acts, it’s extremely unlikely that they would ever even be charged with anything. Without that kind of evidence it’s 100% guaranteed this is an open and shut case. I think we all know from experience that this is the way the world works.


I think officers are trained to aim for centre of mass. Largest target, less easy to miss.


Yes, while they may need training in alternative non-lethal methods of submission, shooting to wound is a bad idea.


Because you only fire if you believe there is a legitimate danger to your or others, and so when you do so you always fire center mass. First of all, by aiming center mass (the body) you increase your chances of hitting something - shooting when your body is surging with adrenaline is tricky business. Second, if you aim for a leg or arm, it could be legitimately argued that you weren’t actually in fear of your life. If incapacitation is the goal, then police have pepper spray, tasers, and bean bag guns, even water hoses can be used. Third, cops need to do everything they can to prevent hitting an unintended target, like another person behind the target (which might be on the other side of a wall).

Note that I am not saying that I feel the shooting is justified, I don’t feel I know enough about the circumstances to offer an opinion on that.


Exactly. Police are only to shoot for grave danger to their lives or others and that means shoot to kill. As noted, other means can be used for situations will less danger involved.



It sounds like a taser might have been ideal here and shooting to injure with current protocol is not done. At this point, sounds like a fluid situation.

From the facts we know, the police break down the door at 10:30 at night because some loud pounding is coming out of that apartment and then, the suspect is found in the closet, it sounds like he springs out with a knife, stabs the police dog in the jaw (expected to recover), it’s not hard to see how with current protocol, that someone will be shot.

I’d hardly expect less if I tried such an act myself.

I’m certainly not standing up for the police with the limited details we have so far but this does look like similar types of cases; maybe the man could have surrendered when he was in the closet and it certainly would have prevented this, I can picture the police dog probably smelling the closet and see that the suspected man was in there.


When police dogs die in the line of duty, they’re often given a burial similar to that of any other officer slain while on the job.

If that’s the case, if your partner is physically assaulted and hurt with a knife, I do not know any cop that wouldn’t shoot. :shrug:


You are correct.

Police dogs are considered in the eyes of the law to be police officers. Killing a police dog would result in a charge of murder (of a police officer) in a court of law. Furthermore, knives and other edged weapons are considered in the eyes of the law to be deadly weapons - lethal force.

Police in almost every instance are authorized to resist lethal force with lethal force of their own.

Could things have been handled differently? Maybe. But that is for the District Attorney to decide.


Yes, I had incapacitation in mind when I said to shoot the legs. But it didn’t occur to me other ways at the moment. If the now victim had a knife , they should have used a method to incapacitate the man. They shot out of fear or out of revenge for their dog. Maybe the man was defending his life against the dog just like the cops killed him out of fear (assuming that that’s what really happened ). Btw, I haven’t read the link.


That is a nasty rumor, not true.
In some states it’s now a felony to kill a Police service animal, but not murder. Same usually applies to service dogs used by Search & Rescue or Firefighters.

I’m sure the dog’s partner would feel it’s murder though!


Well, you did ask…

Why not?

1: Because unlike movies and TV, bullets are not magic force fields that stop a person on contact. A person who is high, crazy, has a very high pain tolerance, or simply pumped up with adrenaline will NOT (and often does not) stop instantly if shot in the leg, arm, stomach, or sometimes even the heart. Yes, I said heart. More on that later…

2: A distance of 21 feet or less is lethal range. What do I mean by that? An attacker that is 21 feet away or less can often close that distance in less time than even a highly trained individual can recognize the threat, draw a gun, aim, and fire, which leads us too…

3: Officers are trained to shoot for center mass. Fine motor controls (like aiming and firing a gun) are greatly diminished in a stress situation. As such, the chest offers the largest and most reliable target. It also just happens to be where many critical organs are located. An unfortunate coincidence except…

4: Officers are trained to shoot to stop a threat. A shot in the center of the chest is among the fastest, though not always instant, way to stop the threat. The intent is not to kill, but due to the mechanics involved in actually causing a determined attacker to stop, death is usually the unfortunate result.

Obviously, I don’t have all of the facts of this case. Police dogs are considered police officers, a fact that I don’t personally agree with in many ways. Police dogs are dogs not humans. The life of a dog is not in itself worth the life of a human being. Dogs can be terrifying to some and confronted with an attacking police dog I would likely be tempted to defend myself with lethal force due to sheer terror of being mauled to death, although that certainly does not mean I would react the same to a human police officer who was arresting me. But I digress…

If truly the only reason the officers shot the suspect was “revenge” for killing his police dog then yes, the officers are guilty of murder both by legal standards and by moral standards, and I’m sure in time the details of the shooting will present themselves. I’m guessing that if the officers shot in self defense, they had reason to believe that either their life, or the life of another officer, or the life of a bystander was in danger. But also lets not forget that police officers are humans just as we are and as such may not always use perfect judgement. They are subject to fear and emotion, as well as fault in judgement, just as you and I are. And while you and I may never have to make a decision like this, police officers must do this daily. They can’t be right all the time, no one is. Lets not judge them too harshly for their actions in a situation you and I will never have to face. Imagine having less than one second to decide whether or not to take a life? Rather, pray for them, and the suspect.

Oh yes, the point about people continuing to attack after being hit in the heart… here is a story from a few years ago of a NYC cop who hit a suspect 14 times with a .45 caliber handgun, a fairly powerful round for a handgun. Despite being hit in the heart, both lungs, liver, kidney, and diaphragm, the suspect continued shooting at the officer for 56 seconds before finally succumbing to a head shot. Fortunately, the officer in question happened to be a master firearms instructor. Even still, only a mere 14 of his 33 shots connected with the suspect, and that kind of hit rate is exceptionally high for these types of situations.

Macabre, yes, but that’s real life and sadly, it’s a situation police officers have to live knowing may happen every time they put the uniform on.


I’m always ready to criticize police when they deserve it but that is a silly question. Police are trained to shoot at the “center of mass” and given how they are trained only very few could hit the legs if they were aiming for them.


Because real life isn’t an old Western movie where the good guy in the white hat shoots the gun out of Black Bart’s hand. If shooting at an attacker, leg shots are very tricky things because the legs are always moving, and there are very few places you can shoot someone in the leg where you can be reasonably sure of stopping the person, especially, with the relatively small rounds most handguns use. The torso, in contrast, doesn’t move nearly as much, and is full of places where a bullet can stop the attacker and has much more mass to absorb the bullets impact so the bullets doesn’t go through and strike somebody else.


A lot of unanswered questions…why or what was he pounding in his unit…did he become scared when police were breaking into his unit and grab a knife and hide in the closet…what was his state of mind…was he psychotic…on drugs or alcohol…was he enraged…fear…did he stab the dog because his mind was messed up…out of fear…anger…if the cops had to open the closet door they would have had to be close to it…how long would it take someone to lunge out and stab the dog…it could be a matter of seconds…if police officers were close by then that would be all the time they would have to react…I’m sure they would have had their weapons drawn…it’s easy to say they could have aimed at the legs or used a taser…not so easy for cops in a situation where they might have to make a life or death split second decision.


You know their motive how?

I know there is a lot more to this story, but if you think about what is in the article. Five police are searching in an apartment to find this man who had a warrant out on him. They would have had their guns drawn are at least ready to draw, as they did not know what they might face. He was hiding in a closet. He came out swinging a knife and stabbing. Picture this in some apartments you have been in and how close the quarters would have been. There are many ways this could be a totally justified shooting.

No, the injury to the dog would not be justification for any action, but there is no indication the injury led to the shooting.


5 or 6 officers are on leave now, I know this is probably routine to do when someone is killed, maybe even when a gun is discharged.

So, we may not know key details here for months as in similar cases.


I think part of the issue is the cost of the dog, Ive heard police dogs can cost about $20-30K, which has always seem strange to me, dogs are really not that expensive, even top bloodline dogs, so the cost must be in the training, which I assume takes about a year or two.

Im not sure why trainers would be charging so much to do this, training is basically time spent, there are not real expenses, housing and feeding a dog are not that expensive, the drugs they use to train them I assume come from police evidence lockers, so…?

Is this a case of a company or trainer setting a very high price because they know police depts will pay it, especially if there if there are not many competitors or if they all stick to a similar price range? Or maybe its because there are not many trainers out there who can train the dogs to do these things and they justify the price due to lack of ‘supply’?


I just found this story, woman in St. Paul suing the city because she was bit by a police dog:

That’s kind of interesting. We don’t know the details. What if a police dog was not acting properly? What if someone was giving up for example and the dog attacked them? This is all speculation only I know.

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