Owner of pit bulls killed by officers says situation was ‘handled wrong’

Posted at 7:05 PM, Jul 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-12 19:06:34-04

Suffolk, Va- The owner of two pit bulls killed by police in Suffolk is speaking out.

Police say the two dogs killed another dog on Sunday and they had to use deadly force to stop the pit bulls from attacking the other dog’s owner, Jerry Phillips.

“The dog started to turn on the police officer and that's when they shot them, shot both of them,” says Jerry Phillips.

Cordell Okolo, the owner of the two pit bulls, says the police handled the situation wrong.

“The animal control lady said the taser was enough. She said the taser was enough to take down a horse. My dog is not that big,” he says.

Cordell says one of his dogs was shot 8 times in the head, the other 5 times in the heart.

“We buried them the same night,” he says.

But the next day, Cordell says animal control came back out and asked them to dig the dogs up so they could test them for rabies.

“So we had to see them twice dead and the second time was even worse,” Cordell says.

Suffolk has a citywide leash law and police say they are going to charge Cordell's dad, Calvin Holland, because the dogs were loose.

Cordell thinks Jerry should face some blame as well.

“Both of us were wrong because both our dogs were running loose. The cops said his dog was running loose, my dogs was running loose,” Cordell says.

But police say Jerry's dog was on a leash, even though Jerry told us he took his dog's leash to try to tie the pit bulls up.

Now what started as a dog fight will be fought in court.


Man rushed to hospital after being attacked by two pit bulls