Police block off Schmul Park in Travis following the dog shooting incident.Bill Lyons
Police officers shot at a dog after it attacked its owner earlier this afternoon in Schmul Park, Travis.
Around 1 p.m. Saturday, police responded to the Roswell Avenue park where a woman's dogs turned on her after she tried to separate them from fighting, police said.
Witnesses described the dogs as pit bulls, however, police could not confirm last night the breed of the dogs.
"Responding officers tried to help her, and in the attempt to get the dog off her, shots were fired," a police spokesman said.
Officials could not say whether the dog had died, or if the officer's bullets had even struck it. The woman suffered hand injuries and was taken to Richmond University Medical Center, West Brighton, police said.
Ray Rehueo, who lives across the street from the park, said that two women were walking their three pit bulls at the far end of the park, near the dirt ball fields. Two of the dogs began to scuffle, and apparently attacked their owner when she tried to break it up. One dog was off its leash, he said.
Rehueo heard five gun shots and then saw the dog running up from the field, bleeding heavily from its side. Blood stains still marked the pavement at the scene on Saturday evening.
Rehueo said that a police officer patrolling the park saw the attack and was the one who fired on the pit bull.
"He saw how aggressive the dog got and shot it. I'm sure he did the right thing. You see a pit bull attacking a woman -- practically taking her hand off -- you gotta do what you gotta do," Rehueo said.
Police could not confirm that account, and said it was also unknown whether the dog sustained its injuries from the shots fired or from its fight with the other dog.
Several other witnesses, who declined to give their names, said that they have feared something like this happening for quite some time. "I always see these dogs off their leashes. It was just a matter of time before they attacked someone, even if it was the owner," said a witness who lives near the park.
He also said that on one occasion, the same pit bull ran up to his young daughter, who was playing in the driveway at the time. "It's scary. There's too many kids around this area to let dogs off their leash. No dog is harmless. They have teeth. They could bite."