ST. LOUIS, MO- A St. Louis police recruit was shot by an officer during a dog attack Saturday evening. St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden hasn’t named the recruit but says her injuries are minor.
The recruit was on a ride-along when it happened. He says a bullet was lodge in her wrist.
No one else on scene was hurt during the dog attack.
“She’s recovering well and they’re going to be releasing her soon and we’re just very thankful that her injury is as minor as it was,” says Chief Hayden.
He says two officers and two trainees were responding to a home in the 7700 block of Alaska Avenue in south St. Louis just before 6:00pm when it happened.
He explains, “The officers advised the lady to secure the dog, but before she could do that the dog burst through the door towards the officers. One of the officers fired shots at the dog, striking the dog, but also one of the rounds struck one of the recruits who was standing nearby and it lodged in her left wrist.”
He says the wounded recruit is 29-years-old and she supposed to graduate from the Academy in October. The 29-year-old male officer who fired the shots has been on the force for eight years. Chief Hayden says the Force Investigative Unit is now looking into the incident.
St. Louis Alderman Larry Arnowitz says he often goes on ride-alongs with the department, and has seen first-hand how dangerous the job can be.
“You don’t know if that dogs going in attack you or not and what kind of dog it is and things like that. You hate to hear things like they had to shoot the dog, but they’re not out to shoot a dog on purpose. It’s just unfortunately the way things are.”
Many agree part of being an officer is knowing you’re going to be in harm’s way. Chief Hayden says he doesn’t think this will hold her back from joining the force.
He says, “I think she’s very much looking forward to continuing her training.”
“They’re not gonna learn unless they’re out there and we just hope that they learn as they go through and get on the department,” says Arnowitz.
Chief Hayden expects her to be released from the hospital Saturday evening.
He says the Humane Society of Missouri has the dog that was shot, but he doesn’t know if it survived.