Police defend actions in pit bull death

A Jefferson City woman was arrested after lying to police about a burglary at her home.

Jefferson city police are defending their actions after they say they were forced to shoot a large pit bull which charged at them while officers were responding to a call.

On Sunday shortly before 7 p.m. police responded to the 3700 block of Liverpool drive, after a woman called in and said her home was being burglarized. Charlotte Morehouse reported a man named â??Joelâ?? was burglarizing her home and she left the home for her safety, according to police.

When officers got to the home, they confronted a man standing inside the front door. The officers told him to come out of the home and get on the ground. When the man came out of the front door, a large pit bull charged from the house towards an officer.

The officer retreated into the street, but was forced to shoot the dog once to defend himself. The dog was transported by Animal Control to a local vet for treatment, but was later pronounced dead.

Captain Doug Shoemaker said the officer had to use deadly force because he made a number of attempts to retreat, and the dog would not back down, placing the officer in eminent danger. "The officer tried to retreat, the dog continued to charge. This isn't a chihuahua, it's a 76 pound pitbull - it's a little bit different."

Shoemaker explained that it would have been impossible to "shoot to injure" instead of "shoot to kill" because of the risk of hitting something else or having a stray bullet penetrate a home or a vehicle.

The man who was in the doorway turned out to be Charlotte Morehouse's husband, and he was leaving the house on his way to work. Jefferson City Police said an investigation revealed that although there was a verbal dispute prior to the 911 call, he had no idea she had called to report a burglary and no one by the name of â??Joelâ?? was at the home, nor was there a burglary taking place.

Charlotte Morehouse admitted to lying about the burglary and about â??Joelâ??.

She was arrested for filing a false police report and taken to the Cole County Jail pending charges.

To view the full interview with Jefferson City Police Captain Captain Shoemaker regarding this incident, click this link.