Bullet fragment injures child as police shoot dog in Ripley

RIPLEY – Two police officers being attacked by a large dog Friday morning shot the animal, and a bullet fragment ricocheted and struck a child. The youngster, believed to be 7, was treated and released from Tippah County Hospital later that day, Police Chief Scott White said Sunday afternoon.

There were no other injuries. The chief said steps will be taken to ensure a similar situation doesn’t happen again. The child was not identified.

The City of Ripley has a leash law requiring dogs be caged or chained. Police declined to identify the animal’s owner. Chief White estimated the animal weighed about 120 pounds. No charges have been filed in the case at this time.

The situation began when police were called to West Walnut Street about 9:45 a.m. after learning the animal – on which police had had previous complaints from neighborhood residents – had city animal control officer Lynwood Cook trapped in his city truck.

Chief White said that when the officers arrived, the black Chou lunged toward both officers. The officers – whom the chief declined to identify – each fired one round from their.40 caliber Glock semi-automatic service weapons.

Both slugs struck the animal. A fragment from a slug then struck the child in the left arm. He was taken to Tippah County Hospital by police, where he was treated for what White termed a minor injury and released.

Chief White estimated the child was standing about 40 yards west from the animal when officers fired in a southerly direction. He said both officers told him they ensured there was a clear field of fire when they shot.

He said Sunday afternoon: “The Police Department is going to research better ways of dealing with vicious dogs. We’re thankful this situation wasn’t worse, and we’ll take measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

It was unclear if the dog was killed. Chief White said he believes the animal was, other reports said it was taken to Corinth for treatment and later returned to Ripley.

Hank Wiesner and Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel