By Danielle Elias
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A 21-year-old recent Ohio State graduate filed a complaint against Columbus Police. She says Columbus Police wrongfully shot and killed her Labrador pit-bull mix. It's a dog she considered part of the family.
Police claim they acted in self-defense as they were trying to execute an arrest warrant against her boyfriend for domestic violence.
A charge, she says she now wishes she could wipe away because when police moved in, her dog, Nala, became an unintended target.
"When I came to the door, I cracked it like this and looked out, then Nala came beside me and stuck her nose out here," said victim, Cartier Townsend.
"They said put your dog away. I will shoot your dog. Those two statements. That is all that they said to me," said Townsend.
A spokesperson for Columbus police tells 10TV the officers, at the time, told her to secure the dog.
"I tried to put her away and even when she ran out of her cage, I told them, don't shoot her. She's not going to try to bite you guys," said Townsend.
Police say, after they repeatedly told her to close the cage, Townsend jumped in the officer's way and the dog ran toward them growling.
The police spokesperson says the officers felt threatened, so they first deployed a taser and then fired with a gun.
"There's no reason she should be in a body bag right now. There's no reason she shouldn't be out there playing outside," said Townsend.
Neighbors say the commotion woke them up.
"One of them said that he was going to kill that ***** dog," said neighbor, Jim McNutt.
"Didn't hear any barking or any yelling from the inside, just the yelling of the cops. The male voices saying, 'We're going to break down your f'n door. Control your f'n dog,'" said neighbor, Katie Knotts.
Concerning statements, to the recent OSU grad, who so badly wishes she had her dog back.
"None of this would have happened if they just let me put her away," said Cartier. "There was nothing I could do. There was nothing I could do to help her."
Police ended up arrested her boyfriend early that morning.
There is an internal review of the officer, who fired the gun, as is protocol within the department anytime an officer fires a gun. There is also a review after Townsend filed her complaint.