Cop who fatally shot dog defends his action: I did what I needed to do

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A police officer from southwest suburban Hometown is out of a job after fatally shooting a dog.

The owners of Apollo, a one-year-old German Shepard mix, say the dog got out of their house on the 8700 block of Beck Place on Friday afternoon.

Police arrived at the home but by that time the dog had returned to the front yard, the owners said.

Nicole Echlin, one of the dog’s owners, said she called for the dog to come inside, but by that time the police officer already had his gun out.

Echlin says the officer fired his gun at the dog when the dog bared his teeth at him.

Her six-year-old daughter witnessed the entire event and fell to the ground crying, Echlin said. She then grabbed the girl and rushed her inside the home.

The police officer, Robert Norris, said he "did what he needed to do," and that he made a split second decision.  Norris says the dog was growling at him and only two to three feet away.  "I knew I was about to be the [receiver] of a dog bite." he said.

Norris said he is sorry to the little girl that she had to witness the incident but he did what he needed to do.

Hometown Police Chief Forsyth issued a statement on the department’s facebook page Monday reading in part:

“Although the Officer may have been justified under the Illinois Use of Force statute governing deadly force, I have made the decision to terminate that Officers employment with the Hometown Police Department.”

A ‘Justice for Apollo’ facebook page has been created in honor of the dog.


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  • Wow

    I am an animal lover. If I could afford to, I would buy a huge ranch and save as many strays as I could. That said, I think something is wrong here. How can such a drastic decision be made, concerning the police officer’s job, so quickly? The Police Chief’s statement said that the officer was justified under the statute. I think most people have no clue what police officers have to face. Additionally, if you or a loved one were confronted by an aggressive dog, what would you do? I’ve seen dogs attack people. It’s not pretty.

    • Clarissa W Dalloway

      We are alike in that desire, to help all of the animals and take them all in …as for your wondering why they would can him so quick..i wondered that too..havent’ had time to look it up yet but i would be willing to bet he’s caused them some trouble with some other issues in the headed …arrogant and an all around moron who no one wants to partner with ..he’s not trusted by his men and so…buh bye!! eh? If he was any good to them at all ..they would have his back on this…

  • Maria

    He didn’t do what he NEEDED to do! He MURDERED a family pet in front of the 6 year old child. This heinous, cowardly act makes you unfit to carry a badge & gun!

  • Maria

    This COWARD EX cop should be arrested for felony animal cruelty & child endangerment!!!! Isn’t that what any of us would have gotten?!? SO SUCK of these double standards!

  • diane

    If this is the only incident and there are no other infraction upon the officer’s record then he looking pretty good to me. If the police officer requests a jury trial , that community is going to pay a whole lot of money. They will probably have to give him job back also. Since I don’t know all the particulars I can’t say but shooting an aggressive animal is no grounds for dismissal.

  • pete

    This police officer was doing what everyone else would have done in the same situation. It was the owners fault. How many stories have we heard were dogs got looser and attacked people. When someone is confronted you don’t think. Maybe it is because I was walking on a sidewalk when a dog attacked me once.and I have bitter feelings about it. For that I’m sorry but it was still the owners fault and not the police officer

  • Roger Moore

    after reading the responses here I’ve come to one conclusion. Most of you people are IDIOTS! This dog was home on it’s property, some thug shows up pulls a gun, the dog doesn’t know the difference between a cop and a criminal, and to tell the truth neither do I anymore. But this dog was doing nothing but protecting it’s family, and this guy murdered it. He had no right to come on this property and pull a gun when the dog was not attacking anyone. He’s not animal control, and that was private property, there was no reason for him to go as far as he did. Just another thug in uniform, couldn’t wait to pull that gun and shoot something. Every week you read about some so called police officer murdering some one or some thing. This is not an isolated incident!

  • Jon

    To all of you saying this officer was a coward or the dog was harmless, why would the owner of the dog have posted this on Facebook just DAYS before this incident took place:

    “I don’t always get out of the house… but when I do, I bite the mailman, chase cops, get my mom citations and try to eat children.”

    The owner then DELETED that post after the incident took place! So, not only did the owner realize that the dog was potentially harmful, she bragged about it! And then tried to play the sympathy card using her own daughter as a pawn after the one-hundred pound German Shepherd – Pitbull mix.was shot trying to attack an officer!

    This is what the post looked like on Facebook:

    Several others have come forward to say that the dog tried to bite them in the past, and there are definitely police records showing previous citations. Don’t just look at one side of the story!

  • MP

    He needs to be fired. Cops think they can get away with anything. That poor dog and the trauma that cop left with that child. How dare he.

  • Sammy

    Why didn’t the “responsible” pet owner step in and grab her dog, after showing it’s teeth? How about putting a leash on the dog, and keeping it under control? I know crazy, right? Apparently, it’s ok to be mauled by a dog, as long as we don’t hurt the dog’s feelings. I’m glad the officer wasn’t hurt.

  • I call bs!

    This guy made a decision and has to live with it. C’mon he was a 16 year police veteran and this is the best decision he can make? Then hide behind “I was scared.” Act like a professional. You had no mace or pepper spray. Also on the Facebook page others are stating he was a bully and threatened other owner’s dogs before with shooting them. If that is true he is just a bad cop who pushed his authority too far and is getting exactly what he deserved. It’s funny how all these cops who commit these atrocities are big tough guys but then when their ego catches up to them they are victims of such a tough job. It’s Hometown, I doubt there is a lot of stress there for this guy, it’s not Englewood. If I was a dog and a man his size approached me on my front lawn walking toward my child master with gun drawn I’d show my teeth too. He should have backed away and ordered the owner contain the dog but he played big guy with his gun first. As for getting his job back,,,, the public does not want him! Remember his oath is to protect and serve the public!!! That is a whole new issue. Public servants serve the public they don’t get to make that call. The ego’s of the elected and appointed hopefully got a real wake up call on this one.

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