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Hawaii island police officer shoots, kills dog while serving restraining order

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The Hawaii Police Department is investigating an incident in Pahala in which an officer shot and killed a dog reportedly trying to attack him.

HPD said in a news release that police officers were in the 92-1100 block of Kaumahana Street at around 5 p.m. on Saturday to serve a restraining order on a 52-year-old man when one of the officers was attacked by a pack of dogs.

Police had arrived at the residence, knocked on the door to serve the restraining order and could hear dogs barking from inside, HPD said. After not receiving a response, officers reportedly began to leave the premises.

HPD said that an individual from inside the home then opened the door, and five “large” dogs exited and “immediately ran towards one of the officers.”

The police department said that “within seconds the pack of dogs began jumping up on him and clawing at his legs.”

One of the dogs jumped toward the officer’s upper torso, HPD said, and it “snapped its jaw closed as if it was attempting to bite the officer.”

The department said that the officer had feared for his life, so he drew his weapon and fired at the dog.

In body camera footage HPD released Tuesday, four pit bulls run from the house to the officer, who promptly shoots one of the dogs and then shouts, “Get back.”

“Incidents in law enforcement can go from zero to 10 in a matter of seconds,” said Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz said in a statement. “In this case, the officer was charged by several large aggressive animals and had less than three seconds to react and make a decision on how best to preserve his own life. That being said, any loss of life is tragic. We mourn the loss of the dog in this case, who ultimately, was a beloved family member.”

HPD is asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call the its non-emergency line at 808-935-3311 or contact Area II Criminal Investigation Section Detective Donovan Kohara at 808-326-4646, extension 267, or via email at

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