Body cam video raises questions about why Aurora officer shot dog

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AURORA, Colo. -- Newly released footage of an Aurora police officer shooting a dog last month is raising new questions about what happened.

Body cameras were rolling on the night of Oct. 22, when police responded to an apartment complex parking lot near Sable Boulevard and Cimarron Circle.

Calls had already come in that two aggressive dogs were loose and had attacked another dog being walked by its owner.

In police reports obtained by the FOX31 Problem Solvers, Officer Mike Hawkins stated that the dogs acted very aggressively toward officers when they arrived.

"The dogs ran up to my car and jumped onto it a couple of times barking at me," Hawkins stated. "In my 23 years of police experience, I had never seen dogs do this."

The body camera footage shows one of the suspect dogs barking toward a police cruiser, then audio recordings capture the loud boom of a shotgun and the yelp of a dog.

You can see the American Bulldog, named Angelo, stumble, then scramble away.

The officer can be heard saying, “I’m going to put that bitch down again,” followed later by, “I can’t believe it ran the way it did. I thought I hit it pretty good.”

The officer is also heard telling a colleague, “One of them ran up on me and crouched down, started growling and barking. I was like uh-uh. He was like within five feet of me. I shot him.”

After a search, Aurora police found the gravely injured, bleeding American Bulldog, apparently gasping for breath on a doorstep.

Video shows them hitching a noose around it’s neck and dragging it while asking if animal control was on the way.

Angelo’s owner, Valeria Rodriguez Augina, says he was shot in the face and throat and had to be put euthanized by a veterinarian.

Aguina posted a portion of the police report online, in which Officer Hawkins states that the dogs appeared to be pit bull terriers or Staffordshire terriers, "a restricted breed dog in the City of Aurora."

"We have witnesses saying Angelo was cornered and afraid while officers pointed guns at him," supporters state on a GoFundMe page called Support for Angelo.

"Angelo has never been aggressive towards people but yet he was constantly accused of being dangerous because of his breed," wrote Jazmine Rodriguez, who set up the page.

Augina started a Facebook page called "Justice for Angelo" and posted several videos showing the dog being affectionate with her and a young child.

"We are now trying to hire a lawyer who has worked cases like this," Rodriguez stated. She said donations to the GoFundMe account will be used for legal fees and to pay for his medical bills and cremation.

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