Memphis policeman aiming at dog shoots fellow officer

(AP)   A Memphis officer aiming at a dog accidentally hit and critically wounded a fellow policeman with a shotgun blast while they were searching a home, officials said Friday.

Officer Willie Bryant, 32, was in critical but stable condition at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis on Friday, police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said. Bryant was in intensive care after undergoing surgery on Thursday, Rudolph said.

Bryant, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, and other officers forced their way in to a north Memphis home while executing a high-risk warrant Thursday when the dog came at them. The officer, whose name wasn’t released, tried to shoot the dog, but missed and shot Bryant in the back, Rudolph said.

Bryant is part of a multi-jurisdictional gang unit task force that was serving a drug-related warrant at the home. Two men inside the home were arrested and charged with possessing a handgun during attempted commission of a felony, and possessing crack cocaine and marijuana with intent to sell.

Officers found crack cocaine, three body armor vests, and five handguns, including one that could fire armor-piercing rounds, Armstrong said.

After the shooting, officers blocked off the street for the ambulance carrying Bryant to the hospital. Several officers waited outside the hospital as their colleague underwent surgery.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. on Friday visited Bryant, who was alert and gave the mayor the peace sign.

Wharton said homes that contain drugs and guns are too prevalent in Memphis neighborhoods and officers take their lives in their hands when they execute such high-risk searches.

“The key is officers are in jeopardy, they are in danger, whether it’s friendly fire or whatever,” Wharton said.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said the decision to shoot the dog, described as a pit bull breed, was made in a split-second. He laid the blame for the shooting not at the officer, but at those inside the home.

“Dogs, armed parties, you never know what you are going to encounter when you kick a door in,” Armstrong said. “We have to make life or death decisions, not only about our lives, but about other people’s lives, in less than a second’s notice.”

Armstrong said the department does have policies and training procedures for dealing with attacking dogs. But both he and Wharton noted that the officers were in a stressful situation in which they were forcing their way into a home containing potentially armed men.

“The tables are not even because we have officers who have rules and laws they have to go by, but they are going against an enemy that has absolutely no rules, moral or otherwise,” Wharton said.

Bryant has been with the department since 2003 and is a member of the Organized Crime Unit. He has a wife who is 7 months pregnant, Armstrong said.

The officer who shot Bryant was on leave pending an investigation. Armstrong described the men as good friends.

“His emotions are all over the place right now,” Armstrong said of the officer who shot Bryant.

Bryant is the ninth Memphis Police Department officer to be shot since Armstrong took over as police director in April 2011.

16 Responses to Memphis policeman aiming at dog shoots fellow officer

  • This is justice! To many psycho’s with a badge and gun bent on shooting first thinking later. I love it! Couldn’t be sweeter!

  • Entrepreneurs operating a business are set upon by a violent street gang — the police. The only difference between a gang and the police are retirement benefits.

  • Well, well, well, I just love how they engineer these articles to absolve the tax feeders of any fault or violence while shoveling it, like so much bullshit, onto those HORRIBLE drug dealers.

    Now, granted, those drug dealers might be bad and violent dudes, but the tax feeders are even worse. The drug dealers, at least, don’t attempt to lie and tell you they are all about your safety.

    Cops are violent profiteering mercs. Nothing less and very little more. Get used to it! …it’s going to get much worse as the fight for more federal dollars gets more competitive.

  • This just made my day!

  • I sure hope the Dog is OK…

  • Perhaps this might start a trend.

  • Justice at last! I hope he fuggin dies.

  • Who gives a crap about the cop? I just hope the dog is OK. Actually I do care about the cop. I hope the POS dies.

  • So, where is the officer who was bitten by the dog? If the officer missed shooting the dog, and the officer was correct in his decision that the dog was dangerous, then — then where is the policeman hospitalized for dog bite?

    The solution to this whole problem — police breaking into a house for fear of their lives, citizens suffering invasion by armed thugs in the guise of police, and dog safety — is to legalize drugs. Legalize them and tax them.

    When drugs are legal, and this stupid second "prohibition" is over, then we can disband the militarized police force, and put an end to these unConstitutional police raids. We can probably dispense with a good chunk of the police force, too, since drugs represent so much of our "crime."

  • Shoots at dog, hits pig…..

  • Score: Dog 1
    Officer 0
    Maybe now they how it feels to be on the other end of the bullet, especially the unnecessary bullet!

  • Maybe the cop found out his "buddy" was sleeping with his wife and this is payback? I’d be looking at the shooter.
    Then on the other hand, these guys are so pathetically psychopathic that anything is possible.

  • The cop should be charged with assault with bodily injury, assaulting a police officer, and reckless endagerment. They should lock him up and throw away the key. And the guy who got shot- serves him right, and i hope he is paralyzed for life, or brain dead- or both!
    Dog shooters should be cut up and fed to coyotes.

  • I think I will invent bullet-proof vest for dogs- yeah! that’s the ticket!

  • hope the dog is okay???y do they always go after the innocent animals!!!!the damn dog wasn’t selling the drugs!!IDIOTS!!!!!Serves the cop right:)

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