Officers responding to a call in Southern California showed up at the wrong house and shot and killed a family dog in what police are calling a tragic accident.
"He used to lay out here under this tree, so we buried him right here," said Hesperia resident Debra Blackmore, through tears.
The family's Husky-Lab mix, Buddy, was shot Monday while police responded to a domestic disturbance reported by a neighbor. Deputies were called to the 7300 block of Redwood Avenue around 12:30 p.m.
U.S. & World
The day's top national and international news.
Investigators said there was confusion over which was the right home and deputies were cautious in their approach.
"It being a fenced yard, thinking there might be dogs there, they rattled the fence," said Lt. Brad Toms of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
Toms said deputies came across two small dogs, but as they got closer to the home, they could hear a bigger dog approaching.
"When the larger dog came out, he was aggressive and barked at the deputies continuing toward them," Toms explained.
In a portion of audio recording released by investigators, a dog can be heard barking loudly before a single gunshot rings out.
"It's totally wrong. It was not necessary," Blackmore sobbed.
Police sympathized with family and expressed remorse over Buddy's death.
"We all understand what it's like to lose a family pet," Toms said. "It's a tragic event for the family. I know the deputies are upset about it."
Members of the Blackmore family, however, said no one is more upset than they are.
"They just seem to think that, 'Oh well, sorry.' That needs to stop. They need to do their job better," said an emotional Debra Blackmore.
Investigators said the deputies involved will not face discipline and are back on patrol.
"As far as I'm concerned, my kid could have come through on a bicycle and got shot," Dwayne Blackmore said.
Hesperia police Captain Greg Wielenga has reached out to the Blackmore family to offer assistance.
After the shooting, deputies responded to the correct home and arrested 42-year-old Stephanie Roper on suspicion of grand theft auto and narcotics violations. Information on an attorney for Roper was not immediately available.