UPDATE: Family reacts to pit bull shooting - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Family reacts to pit bull shooting

PRINCETON (WVVA) - A West Virginia State Trooper says he was forced to shoot and kill a pit bull to protect himself. The dog's owners say their pet was harmless.

Cpl. J.C. Long with the Princeton detachment of the State Police says Trooper W.H. File did what he had to do to protect himself after two dogs ran toward him after he got out of his cruiser while responding to a call at a mobile home park in the Princeton area Saturday.

According to a previous Associated Press report, File shot one dog and the other fled.

Tonya Church says her son owned the 6-month-old pit bull that was shot. She says the dog was let outside so it could relieve itself and had never shown signs of being dangerous.

In a written statement to WVVA News, the owner of the property where the shooting occurred said the incident could have been prevented if the owner had followed the rules.

"This would have never happened if the dog owners had followed the rules. Dogs must be kept inside or in an enclosed pin," the statement reads. "They cannot be tied up and they are never allowed to run loose. If the owner is out with the animal, it must be physically attached to a human hand by a leash."

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