An incoming North Carolina police chief is off to a great start after shooting a woman in an attempt to kill her dog.
Winston-Salem Assistant Chief Barry Rountree was responding to a dangerous weapon call on Wednesday to assist another officer. He encountered a dog behaving in an “aggressive manner” and attempted to shoot the pooch but ended up hitting Tamara Whitt in the leg.
Whitt is saying that Rountree did not provide immediate assistance to her after the bullet ricocheted off the pavement and struck her.
“He did not come to me. He backed away,” Whitt told Fox affiliate WGHP. “He just backed up and I saw the cell phone come out … he walked across the street over there by that car over there and he was on his phone … and I told the SBI [State Bureau of Investigation] he did not come to me.”
Whitt said that the dog was “very passive” and didn’t understand why Rountree drew on the pup while she was standing so close to it. Furthermore, the .40 caliber bullet will have to stay in her leg because doctors say it’s too dangerous to remove.
For the flap, Rountree has been placed on administrative leave, and the SBI is investigating the incident. The city did say that Rountree’s swearing-in as chief would happen on Sunday as planned. Assistant Chief David Clayton will serve in the position temporarily until Rountree is cleared for duty.
The dog, meanwhile, escaped the situation unharmed and is in custody at the Forsyth County Animal Control.
Whitt, for her part, doesn’t seem terribly jilted by the incident, but served up some humble pie for the incoming chief anyway:
“I just hope that the SBI does a good investigation and really sees if he really deserve to be our police [chief] because I honestly thought that was a rookie mistake,” she said.