An off-duty Secret Service agent in Brooklyn shot and killed a dog wearing a leash in a Brooklyn neighborhood Monday night, the government agency confirmed to HuffPost.
The Secret Service, in a statement to The Daily Beast, initially described the dog as “unleashed.” But a photographer for The New York Daily News snapped a photo shortly after the incident that showed the slain dog ― reportedly a female Belgian Shepherd ― covered by a white sheet with a leash protruding from it.
In a statement to HuffPost on Tuesday, the Secret Service described the dog as “unrestrained and aggressive” but did not use the word “unleashed.”
“As this is an ongoing investigation, the Secret Service will not have further comment,” according to the statement.
Asked to clarify whether the dog was wearing a leash, a Secret Service spokesperson told HuffPost: “Respectfully, we know that the canine was wearing a leash, but there was no owner present at the time of the incident.”
The shooting took place around 10 p.m. in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Windsor Terrace near Prospect Park, reported the Daily News. The agent, who has not been publicly identified, told police that the dog charged at him, reported The New York Times.
“She scared a cop who was walking home,” the dog’s owner said, according to the Daily News. “He shot her and she’s dead.”
Walker Blankenship, the stable master at the Kensington Stable, located across the street from where the incident unfolded, told HuffPost that he heard gunfire followed by people arguing.
“I heard a guy cursing,” said Blankenship. “He said, ‘I can’t believe you let it fucking go off.’”
Blankenship said hearing gunshots in the neighborhood is “definitely not normal.” He added he was at the scene while police were gathering information about the incident when he saw the dog’s body being put into a white SUV. He described the canine as beige and small to medium-sized.
“It definitely was not big,” he told HuffPost. “Something easily a person could pick up and carry. Certainly under 50 pounds. Probably under 40 pounds.”
“There are a lot of dog owners over here,” he added. “Everybody is really upset.”
The New York Police Department directed a request for comment to the Secret Service. As the Times noted, a 2011 report from the Justice Department found that the majority of officer-involved shooting incidents in the U.S. involved animals, most of which were dogs.
“Violence & lying are becoming so disastrously casual,” Democratic New York City Council Member Brad Lander tweeted in response to reports that the Secret Service initially claimed that the dog was unleashed.