LIVONIA, Mich. (WJBK) - A family's dog shot and killed by a utility worker.
He says he felt threatened but the heartbroken owners say he didn't have to shoot.
On Friday at about 9 a.m. Doug Eiben says he heard the family dog, Katie, barking, but he did not know why
"The next thing I heard was pop, a gun shot," he said.
And when he saw Katie, her lifeless body was on the ground in the family yard. Doug says a utility worker at the house next door told him it was in self-defense.
"(He said) 'Well your dog lunged at me, I felt threatened.' At a dog not on property?" Eiben said. "You got a 2-foot radius for the dog before it reaches the invisible fence line and the dog knows its boundaries."
Eiben says he demanded the worker's information
"He wouldn't give it to me so I had to call the police," he said.
That was when Doug told his brother who owns Katie, what happened.
"I would like to do same thing to him," said Michael Eiben. "But that won't justify anything."
Representatives from Metro Engineering Solutions where the worker is employed then showed up.
The family wanted to know which utility their employee was working for.
Michael Eiben confronted them.
"Who are you working for?" he asked.
"I can't tell you that," the worker said.
Fox 2 later found out it was AT&T and wanted information about the company's policy for having a weapon when on the job.
"The company policy, I'll have to go back. I'm not prepared to make a statement," said employee James Moskul.
And if the worker is a CPL holder?
"We do have certain utilities that do not allow that and certain utilities that don't have policy against it," said Moskul.
The compliance manager says the worker was sent home as the investigation continues.
"It's too early to sit here and say employee was totally wrong in what he did," Moskul. 'The policy is one thing, but did the employee act because he felt threatened."
Katie's final resting place is in the backyard of the family's home. The family says life will never be the same without her
"It was a loving pet, it was a kid," Doug said. "You can't replace him."
AT&T has released a company statement about the incident by Marty Richter for AT&T Corporate Communications:
"1. We expect our employees to comply with all applicable laws.
2. We are aware of the situation, reviewing the circumstances and surrounding facts, and conducting our own investigation. Once that investigation is complete, the Company will determine whether any additional action regarding its employee is necessary.
3. We've instructed our employee to fully comply with local police in all respects, if requested.
4. The Company is also prepared to fully cooperate with the police, if requested.
5. At this stage, the Company has not been advised by the police as to whether they believe that any laws have been violated.
6. If and when such a determination is made, the Company will be prepared to take that fact into consideration."