A 29-year-old Lady's Island woman says she is distraught after a Beaufort County Sheriff's deputy shot and killed her dog Sunday.
Sabrina Morris said she called the Sheriff's Office to her home on Carolyn Drive at about 3 p.m. to help settle a dispute between Morris and a roommate.
Shortly after the deputies arrived, one of Morris' children accidentally let her 3-year-old American bulldog Sassy out of the home. The dog ran from the front door toward the two deputies, she said.
"She did what any dog would do," Morris said. "These are two new people that she doesn't know so she ran toward them, barking. She didn't jump on them, she didn't bite them, she didn't get anywhere near them. (The dog) was actually walking away when one of the officers shot her in front of my three children."
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In a Sheriff's Office incident report, Deputy Michael Hernandez wrote that the 75-pound dog charged him and his partner, then lunged toward his groin before he shot it in the right hind leg.
His partner also drew his 9 mm service pistol but did not have a clear shot at the animal, the incident report said.
The dog died hours later at a veterinary clinic in Port Royal, Morris said.
Morris said the shooting was unjustified and she is considering legal action.
"I understand that people have a fear of dogs, but there are other things they could have done," Morris said. "They had a baton. They had mace. They didn't have to shoot my dog. He was just trigger-happy. He pulled his gun out quick."
Sgt. Robin McIntosh, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said the agency is conducting an internal review of the shooting.
In the meantime, Morris said she plans to meet with a local attorney to explore her legal options.
"I'm not a money-hungry type of person, but I think it's completely crazy that they killed my dog in front of my children for no reason," Morris said. "She was a part of our family. She wasn't a mean dog. This was an animal I raised since she was a puppy to be a lovable family dog. I'm at a loss."
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.