A Lawndale man is planning legal action after a Los Angeles County sheriff's detective shot and killed his family dog at his home.
The shooting took place at the 170th Street home about 9:30 p.m. Monday when detectives, who officials say were following up on a criminal case, were met by Ronald Padilla's Italian mastiff.
Sheriff's officials said one of the detectives opened fire on the snarling dog when it charged at him.
Padilla disputes that claim.
He said the detectives were searching for his brother in a front house to serve paperwork about a change of court date for a felony juvenile citation. When no one answered the door, the deputies went to the rear of the property where Padilla lives in a back house.
Padilla, a father of three, says he was getting ready to go to bed when he heard three rounds fired. At least one of the bullets struck his 1-year-old pup named Knox on her side.
"I went outside and I noticed my brother was already outside yelling at them, 'What did you guys do? Why did you shoot my dog? You guys had no business in my property,'" Padilla said.
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Padilla says nothing was done to save the dog's life. Animal Control was called but the dog died before they got there - he took photos and video of the moments after the shooting.
"They were searching for bullet (casings) instead of helping my dog," Padilla said.
Padilla says he didn't hear his dog bark or growl before shots rang out. He says the detective apologized but had nothing else to say.
Padilla says the gunfire could have struck his children, ages 10, 7 and 5, who were at home.
"What am I supposed to tell my children now? A cop shot our dog in our own property?" Padilla said. "I took really good care of my dog. To me it was like family. My dog never bit anybody."
The case was under review by internal affairs, per department policy, said sheriff's Sgt. Nick Daniel.