A Las Vegas police officer fatally shot a pit bull downtown Sunday afternoon, a department official said.
Lt. Les Lane said the shooting occurred at 1:49 p.m. at 147 S. 16th St., near Carson Avenue.
Lane said an officer fired one shot.
"The dog was aggressive and coming toward the officer," Lane said.
Police were investigating a report of gunshots or fireworks when they encountered the pit bull in a yard, Lane said.
Victor Patino lives at the home where his 6-year-old pit bull, Bubba, was fatally shot. Patino said Bubba was like family and police shouldn't have killed him.
Patino, 23, said police never knocked on the front door alerting residents of their investigation.
Instead, officers opened up the door to the 6-foot metal fence and must have not initially seen the 120-pound Bubba in the large backyard.
A "Beware of Dog" sign hung on the fence, and Bubba was just protecting his property, Patino said.
"He was in his home," Patino said. "He should be free to roam and not worry about cops trespassing into the backyard."
The shooting marked the second time Sunday a Metropolitan Police Department officer fired a weapon on duty.
A man, who has not been identified, was critically wounded about 4 a.m. after exchanging gunfire with an officer in the 600 block of North 12th Street, near East Bonanza Road and North Maryland Parkway.
Police said they were trying to detain a suspect in an armed robbery before the man began shooting at them. One officer returned fire.
The identity of the man who was shot was not released. Police will release the identity of the officer involved in the shooting within 48 hours, per department policy.
The identity of the officer who fatally shot the pit bull also was not released.
In May, a Las Vegas police officer shot Marco, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois police dog.
Marco was shot May 14 after he mistakenly bit officer Michael R. Foster, 28, as police chased a man through the backyards of homes near Alta Drive and Jones Boulevard, police said.
Marco latched onto Foster's arm and would not let go until the dog's handler called him, police said.
Foster's partner, Edward J. Renfer, 28, shot Marco once after the dog appeared to be coming back toward Foster. Marco died the next week.
Shootings involving officers and dogs remain rare. Metropolitan Police Department officers shot a total of nine dogs between 2006 and 2008.
More recent statistics were unavailable Sunday.
Officers can use deadly force against animals if they believe they or someone else is in imminent danger. The threat rises with the size of the dog, which is why many shootings involve large-breed animals such as pit bulls and Dobermans.
Patino said his family also owns a second pit bull, 6-month-old Coco. She was inside the home during the shooting.
Patino said there are two boys younger than 10 who live at the home, and the pit bulls have never been aggressive toward them.
Patino was sleeping during the shooting. He said Bubba was shot once in the head.
Patino is angry police didn't handle the matter differently.
"Why weren't we notified they wanted to come into the backyard?" He asked. "We could have secured the backyard. ... It's not right."
Contact reporter Antonio Planas at email@example.com or 702-383-4638.