Wayne State University officer cleared of wrong-doing after shooting family dog

A family living near Wayne State University says they're lucky to still have their pet after a campus police officer shot at the dog. But the officer has been cleared and they claim the dog was charging at them.

Wayne State University police officers were doing a welfare check at the Midtown apartment on Friday when an officer noticed 10-year-old Ace coming towards him while he was on the porch.

The officer shot at Ace, a Golden Doodle, twice. He was hit in the face by one of the bullets but survived the shooting. The officer was cleared on Wednesday of any wrong-doing.

"They look up, they see this dog charging at them at full speed," WSU Police Chief Anthony Holt said. "It wasn't enough time for him to even consider an alternative method responding to this charging dog barking."

Ace's owners disagree with that, however, and said that there was no way the officers had time to respond to an alleged charging dog.

"From the time that Ace and Justin came out of the door and the time we were shot, it was probably five seconds. Enough time for three officers to definitely say ‘come and get your dog’," Emmet Burkes said. "That was an attempted murder."

Holt said the officer had to take quick action.

"In the officers mind, and even in me reviewing the tape, there was no other recourse," Holt said.

Ace has 16 stitches, two missing teeth, and the vet bills are piling up. Holt says that it's been just under 40 years since the last time an officer shot a do, and he's sympathetic to Ace's family.

"The officer is extremely remorseful, as we are. We are very dog friendly campus, we have a dog park named after our fallen officer, We have canine's here, so it wasn't something he did lately," Holt said. 

Ace's owners said some kind of a message from Holt would go a long way.

"He hasn't called me up to tell me that, or to say sorry, or send the dog bone, or something," Robin Gamble said.

Ace, 10, was shot by a Wayne State University police officer after they said he charged at them last week. The officer has been cleared on all charges.