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Officer kills pit bull while approaching suspect

South Boston News
Joseph Whittington III
SoVaNow.com / October 11, 2010
A South Boston police officer shot and killed a pit bull while approaching the Shepherd Street home of a man who was subsequently arrested on suspicion of pointing a gun at a neighbor Thursday night in South Boston.

Joseph Whittington III, 20, of 1318 Shepherd Street was charged with brandishing a firearm and is being held without bond pending an appearance in General District Court. Police say additional charges against Whittington are likely.

South Boston officers responded to a call of shots being fired in the Shepherd Street area shortly before midnight Thursday. Investigating Officer C. Mann spoke with a witness who informed them that Whittington had pointed a gun at him; as he was fleeing, the witness told police, he heard shots being fired.

Officers then went to Whittington’s residence to investigate. As officers surrounded the home, a dog charged at one of the officers, forcing him to fire his service weapon once, killing the dog. It was later determined that the dog belonged to Whittington and had apparently been running at large prior to this incident.

Officers made attempts to contact Whittington at his residence and by phone but Whittington refused to answer them. During this time, officers were able to observe Whittington moving inside the home through the windows. Officers and deputies from the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office entered the residence and Whittington was taken into custody without further incident.

After Whittington’s arrest, investigators from the South Boston Police Department and the Halifax/South Boston Narcotics and Gang Task Force served three separate search warrants on the residence at 1318 Shepherd Street.

Whittington was charged with one count of brandishing a firearm with more charges expected in the near future.

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