PHOENIX (KSAZ) - [WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO]
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputies shot and killed a dog over the weekend while attempting to serve an arrest warrant.
On Tuesday, Sheriff Joe Arpaio released body camera video of the deadly confrontation, which officials say justifies the shooting.
Both deputies were wearing body cameras and both cameras captured the incident.
When deputies arrived at the home in east Mesa to search for a suspect that had a warrant out for his arrest, they spoke with his mother in front of the house. During the conversation, you can hear a dog barking from inside the home. The woman tells the deputy she's going to shut her front door, then seconds later, the dog runs out, knocking the woman down in the process.
"Don't shoot him.. you shot him?" asked the woman.
"He was going to attack my partner," replied the deputy.
The dog was shot once in the mouth and ran back to the house.
"From the time the dog clears the door to the time the shot is fired is less than 2.5 seconds," said MCSO's Dave Trombi.
In releasing the video, MCSO says it stands by the deputy's split second decision to open fire in this case.
"To see this happen is tragic.. unfortunately, we have to make a decision between our safety and the animal's safety," explained Trombi.
The distraught owners say the dog's name was Blue and was a loving member of their family. In previous interviews, they defended their dog, but after seeing the body camera video, owner Debbie Holm told FOX 10 she realized Blue did indeed charge towards deputies.
"He was a beautiful dog and I have to live with this because it's my fault. It wasn't his. It's my fault for opening the door. I'd still have my dog and I'm lost and I'm devastated."
The owner rushed Blue to a veterinarian, but he passed away.
Again, MCSO says the shooting is justified and the investigation is now closed.