Officer kills dog in Pahala while serving restraining order

Police are investigating the discharge of a firearm by an officer in Pahala that resulted in the death of a dog late Saturday afternoon.

According to a written police statement, at about 5 p.m. Saturday, two officers went to a home on the 92-1100 block of Kaumahana Street to serve a restraining order on a 52-year-old man.


As officers knocked on the door and announced their presence, several dogs could be heard barking from within the house. There was no response, however, from anyone inside the home, and the officers began to leave the property.

As the officers were walking back toward their vehicles, an individual within the home opened the door and four to five dogs came out and immediately ran toward one of the officers. Within seconds, the pack of dogs began jumping up on him and clawing at his legs.

According to police, one of the dogs jumped up toward the officer’s upper torso, and snapped its jaw closed as if it was attempting to bite the officer. The officer — according to police, in fear of his life — drew his service weapon and discharged it at the canine. After firing, the officer took several steps backward.

The injured dog retreated to the carport area, where it died a short time later.

The residents were able to escort the remaining dogs back into the house, where they were secured without further incident.

The officer wasn’t injured.

Police have opened a dangerous dog investigation related to this incident.

Additionally, detectives from the Office of Professional Standards, the department’s internal affairs unit, responded and have opened a standard internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the discharge of the firearm.

“Incidents in law enforcement can go from zero to 10 in a matter of seconds,” said Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz. “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.”

Police released edited body-worn camera footage of the incident with the dog shot by the officer intentionally blurred.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or contact West Hawaii Criminal Investigation Section Detective Donovan Kohara at (808) 326-4646, ext. 267, or via email