A 22-year-old man was accidentally shot by an undercover police officer yesterday morning while walking his two pit bulls. The man is in stable condition at Kings County Hospital. One of the dogs was also hit but its condition has not been released. Both dogs are now in the care of the Animal Care and Control agency.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "the episode unfolded around 11 a.m. after an undercover officer approached two people about buying narcotics in Brooklyn's Bushwick section." Apparently, police officers were headed into a building on Himrod Street in pursuit of two alleged heroin dealers, when they encountered the 22-year-old man, James Earl Austin, and his two pit bulls. A law enforcement official tells the WSJ that the two dogs lunged at the officers who then fired their guns in self-defense. One of the bullets then ricocheted, hitting Austin in the leg.
NY1 talked to witnesses who claim that the dogs were leashed at the time. One neighbor had this to say, "They're puppies. They're not violent. If they don't know you, they'll bark to protect. But other than that, trying to hurt somebody, it's not, the dogs wouldn't hurt nobody."
Animal Care and Control confirmed to NY1 that they are in possession of both a 1- and 3-year-old dog.
A speedy recovery is wished for all.
Fact: baby pit bulls are the cutest.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen