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Video Shows Minneapolis Officer Shooting Dogs in Owner's Backyard

Surveillance video posted to Facebook Sunday shows a police officer shooting two dogs in the backyard of a Minnesota home.

The incident occurred around Saturday evening at a home in the 3800 block of Queen Ave. N. in Minneapolis, according to the Star Tribune, while Jennifer LeMay was camping with her family in Wisconsin as a friend watched her dogs.

LeMay’s two teenage daughters returned home early from the trip on Saturday night, she told the Star Tribune, and accidentally triggered the security alarm at around 8:50 p.m.

LeMay said she then contacted the security company, which deactivated the alarm at 8:54 p.m., the Star Tribune reports.

At 9:15 p.m., two officers responded to the home for the "audible residential burglary alarm," Minneapolis police said in a statement Sunday.

The home security video shows one of the uniformed officers inside the fenced-in backyard, backing away with his gun drawn.

A dog enters the frame and approaches the officer, who then opens fire, striking the dog, which immediately retreats as another dog runs in.

Within seconds, the officer appears to shoot the second dog as well, before holstering his weapon and climbing the fence to leave the yard.

The first dog, named Ciroc, suffered a gunshot wound to the jaw, while the second, Rocko, was shot in the face and shoulder, LeMay said.

Both dogs survived the shooting, and were home from the veterinarian by Sunday night after undergoing surgery, LeMay said on Facebook, adding that Ciroc will have to undergo an additional procedure to repair his fractured jaw.

A police report filed after the incident said "two large size pitbulls charged at officer" before he opened fire, according to KARE, a claim that LeMay disputes.

The dogs "weren't attacking or charging at him," LeMay wrote on Facebook alongside the video she posted at 12:37 a.m. Sunday.

It has since garnered more than 300,000 views and been shared nearly 4,000 times as of Monday afternoon.

"My dog had stopped. My dog wasn't even facing him to charge him or be in an aggressive manner to him. You still shot him," she told KARE, calling the shooting "unprovoked."

Her daughter Vanessa said she witnessed the shooting and disagreed with the officer’s version of events as well.

"I see the dog come around the corner, and he just starts shooting the gun, he didn't even do anything," she said.

Minneapolis police said in a statement Sunday that the department was aware of the shooting, and that any time an officer discharges a firearm in the line of duty, internal affairs completes an investigation.

"We are in the process of reviewing the video posted online, as well as the officer's body camera video," the statement reads. "We have reached out to the owner of the dogs and will continue to do so during the investigation. At this time there is no further information we can release."

The Star Tribune reports that an officer visited LeMay’s home to discuss the incident and extend condolences, while the police chief said in a statement Monday that the department would implement training for officers in dog encounters, calling the incident "difficult to watch."

Donations to cover the dogs’ medical expenses have poured in, with a GoFundMe raising more than $22,000 from 740 people by Monday afternoon.

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