A woman in North Carolina says that the incoming police chief in one town did not react to provide immediate assistance after accidentally shooting her while trying to kill her allegedly aggressive dog.
Investigators said that Winston-Salem Assistant Chief Barry Rountree was responding to a dangerous weapon call on Wednesday to assist another officer when he encountered a dog behaving in an “aggressive manner.” Rountree attempted to shoot the dog, but missed and the bullet ricocheted off the pavement, striking Tamara Whitt in the leg.
“He did not come to me. He backed away,” Whitt told WGHP. He just backed up and I saw the cell phone come out … he walked across the street over there by that car over there and he was on his phone … and I told the SBI [State Bureau of Investigation] he did not come to me.”
Whitt said that she couldn’t understand why Rountree would take the chance of firing his weapon while she was standing so close to the “very passive” dog.
Doctors told Whitt that the 40 caliber bullet would have to remain in her leg because it was too dangerous to remove.
Rountree was placed on administrative leave, and the SBI was following its standard procedure of conducting an investigation into all police shootings. The city, however, insisted that Rountree’s swearing-in would go on as scheduled on Sunday. Assistant Chief David Clayton will temporarily serve as chief until Rountree is cleared for duty.
The dog was reportedly unharmed, but in the custody of Forsyth County Animal Control.
“I just hope that the SBI does a good investigation and really sees if he really deserve to be our police [chief] because I honestly thought that was a rookie mistake,” Whitt observed.
Watch this video from WGHP, broadcast June 26, 2013.