An Arlington, Texas, police officer accidentally shot and killed a woman Thursday evening while aiming at a loose dog that was barking and approaching the officer.
The officer and emergency medical personnel had been called to conduct a welfare check on the woman, later identified as 30-year-old Margarita Victoria Brooks, whom the caller reported was passed out in a grassy area.
As the officer approached and called out to Brooks, an unrestrained dog began to run at the officer, barking.
The officer retreated backward from the animal, unholstered his firearm and fired multiple shots at the dog. After the shots were fired, Brooks began to cry out and “it was apparent she was injured,” Arlington Police said in a written release.
Brooks was transported to a local hospital where she was declared dead.
“Preliminary information leads investigators to believe the woman was struck by gunfire from the officer,” the police department said in the statement.
Brooks and her boyfriend were homeless and spent time in the area behind the shopping center where she was shot, an acquaintance of the woman told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
A man familiar with the couple told the paper Brooks “was real loving to the dog,” which he described as “her soul.”
A request for comment from Arlington Police regarding the fate of the dog was not immediately returned Friday.
A body camera worn by the officer captured the incident, and the recording will be included in the investigation.