A 4-year-old girl is in the hospital tonight after being shot by a Columbus police officer who was only trying to kill the family dog.
The incident occurred Friday afternoon when a woman called the Ohio cop over for help with her sister who had cut herself.
The officer, who had been walking out of a home where he had been investigating a hit-and-run accident, made his way to the other family’s home.
But when he stood in the doorway, he claims the family dog came charging at him, so he pulled out his gun and fired, striking the child in the right leg.
It remains unclear if it was a direct shot or a ricochet. Her mother rushed her to the hospital where she is reportedly in stable condition. The officer’s name has not been released.
According to the [__Columbus Dispatch__](http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/06/19/whitehall-officer-involved-shooting.html):
> Neighbors say the officer walked back to his patrol car after the shooting.
> “He seemed a little disoriented, like he was really bothered,” said Norman Jones, who called the police after hearing the shot. Columbus and Whitehall police arrived at the scene shortly afterward.
> Neighbors say Ellis came out of the house saying her daughter had been shot.
> The officer was not injured.
> Neighbor Carrie Britton said the family has two dogs and that they were on shock collars and couldn’t get out of the house.
> Two dogs were being held in the back of the house after the shooting, according to police.
A neighbor and the girl’s uncle identified her as Ava Ellis. The name of the officer has not yet been released.
In January, Autumn Steele, a 34-year-old mother was [__killed by an Iowa police officer__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2015/03/iowa-police-released-body-cam-footage-of-cop-killing-woman-while-attempting-to-shoot-dog/) in front of her 4-year-old son as the officer was attempting to shoot their family pet.
Burlington police officer Jesse Hill began shooting at the dog, but fell backwards in the snow, continuing to shoot as he landed. One of the bullets pierced through Autumn’s chest.
Hill was cleared in the shooting, but now Iowa State Senator Chuck Grassley is [__calling for a federal investigation.__ ](http://www.omaha.com/news/iowa/grassley-sends-iowa-police-shooting-complaint-to-u-s-attorney/article_b193442e-153d-11e5-a776-0b8800674a90.html)
According to an unofficial count done by an independent research group, Ozymandias Media, law enforcement in the United States shoots a dog every 98 minutes. If that statistic isn’t enough for you to want to push for better training regarding the handling of animals, then maybe the collateral damage should be.
Earlier this week, [__we reported that a 6-year-old child__](http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2015/06/child-mistakenly-calls-911-san-francisco-police-arrive-and-kill-dog/) mistakenly called 911 in San Francisco, resulting in officers responding and killing the family dog.