Airport security firms says guard that fatally shot dog acted in - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Airport security firms says guard that fatally shot dog acted in self-defense

(Image: Ronnie May Andrade-Ramos/Facebook) (Image: Ronnie May Andrade-Ramos/Facebook)
(Image: Family) (Image: Family)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The security company whose guard fatally shot a family's dog at Honolulu Airport last week says the animal was acting aggressively and that the guard acted in self defense.

Securitas said the dog was "aggressively barking and lunging at tourists in the area."

The company added that the officer was being pursued by the pit bull, and that he shot the dog at close range "as the pit bull lunged toward him."

Securitas said the shooting was "in self-defense to prevent being attacked."

The account differs significantly from the one offered by the dog's owners, who say the security guard killed the dog as they were trying to restrain it and that he overreacted.

When the incident happened last week, dog owner Leisha Ramos said, she was sitting in a grassy area near the Inter-island terminal baggage claim, holding her 5-month-old daughter in her lap and petting her pit bull while her boyfriend was loading their truck with luggage.

Ramos said she didn't know the area was off-limits to animals and there was a separate area designated for pets in another part of the airport. She said if someone asked them to leave respectfully, they would have.

"He's walking towards us yelling that we needed to go and leave and get this dog out of here or he'll take care of it. My boyfriend tells him, 'Yeah, we're just loading the truck.' And he keeps walking towards us and he's at a pretty far distance and he already has gun out," she said.

Ramos said her dog was tied to a tree by a chain but broke free when the guard and her boyfriend got into a verbal argument.

The family had just moved back to Oahu from the Big Island. 

Ramos said her dog -- Kaiele -- was fun, loving, and playful and would never hurt anyone.

"I was right behind him and I just dropped because he dropped. And I had her in my arms and I was just holding him and he was just bleeding from his forehead," she said. 

Unlike state deputy sheriffs, Securitas doesn't have non-lethal weapons like tasers or pepper spray, sources said.

The security guard in the shooting had previously been fired from the Army. He had served as a civilian police officer for 10 years.

Securitas said the guard is on medical leave, and it has expressed its regret for the shooting.

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