This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

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.