Police: Man says he killed dog to protect his pet

(Photo courtesy of Liz Kilmer/WAVY)

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – An alleged dog attack led to gunfire in a Chesapeake alley Tuesday morning.

According to police, a man told officers he was walking his German Shepherd behind the 1000 block of Decatur Street shortly before 11 a.m. Two loose, unattended pit bulls, reportedly began attacking the dog. The man told police he fired a shot at the ground to scare the pair. They ran off, but reportedly came back, approaching the shepherd.

Police told 10 On Your Side that’s when the man tried to save his pet by shooting one of the pit bulls. It died from its injury.

After the dog was shot, Jarel McClarty, 30, reportedly responded to the scene and fired shots in the air. No one was injured by his gunfire. He was charged with reckless handling of a firearm and discharging a firearm in a public place.

10 On Your Side tracked Jarel McClarty down on Tuesday. Off-camera, he admitted to firing “warning shots” from the backyard, and stated he is “innocent.”

Jarel’s cousin, Deonte McClarty, told 10 On Your Side that the pit bulls belong to his brother. The family was reportedly outside at the front of the property, when they heard the shots around back.

“So we went back there and the dog is limping,” Deonte says. He claims the pit bulls were not on leashes, but were inside the fence. “They don’t escape they never escape out the back, ever, that never happens.”

10 On Your Side did not spot any large holes in the fence but did see a wide gap at the gate. Deonte says it isn’t fair that the man who shot and killed the pit bull isn’t also facing charges.

“It’s crazy, he shot our dog,’ says Deonte.

10 On Your Side knocked on numerous doors in the neighborhood in search of the German Shepherd’s owner for comment but we were not able to reach him.

This is a developing story. Stay with WAVY on air and online for updates.