Family: CMPD officer killed pet, bullet nearly hit pregnant wife

Credit: Henry Sanchez

Family: CMPD officer killed pet, bullet nearly hit pregnant wife


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 18 at 7:40 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A family says a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer should be reprimanded for killing their beloved pit bull, with the bullet that killed the dog coming within inches of the wife who is seven months pregnant with the couple’s first child.

Chino, an 80-pound, 4-year-old pit bull, was Janneth Sanchez's baby, and the baby missed his mom.

Sanchez left home for a few days due to marital problems but came back Sunday night to work things out with husband, Henry.

At first Henry wouldn't let her in the door, so she called 911 for help. That brought a CMPD officer to the house.  Henry finally unlocked the door then a latch which helps keep Chino and their other pit bull, Ivy, inside.

That’s when Chino and Ivy rushed outside for some love.

"They weren't barking, they weren't growling.  They were running around me,” Janneth Sanchez said.

Sanchez says she bent over and held Chino by the hips.  At the same time Officer D. Bryant yelled at her to grab Chino, and officer Bryant shot and killed Chino by the time he finished his sentence.

Sanchez says neither Chino nor Ivy were being vicious or attacking the officer. She says the officer could have given her more than a second to hold Chino.

"He could have taken more steps back and give me a chance,” she said. "A lot of things you can do without automatically shooting."

A bullet to the neck killed Chino. A bullet also grazed Ivy's mouth, requiring stitches.

The Sanchez family says losing one baby, Chino, is hard enough.

Now, they are furious the officer fired his weapon so close to and in the direction of Janneth, who is seven months pregnant with a baby girl.

Janneth says she was inches away from the bullet that killed Chino.

"I could have lost my unborn baby if something would have happened to her,” Henry Sanchez said.

Both say the officer didn't immediately lower his weapon.

"He was still pointing it at my wife and dog,” Henry Sanchez said.

CMPD says the officer's actions are part of an ongoing, internal investigation to see if what he did was justified.

The family says they had spent nearly $400 getting veterinary care for Ivy.