A Virginia State Police trooper has been charged in connection with the shooting death of a pit bull in Manassas Park earlier this month, but the dog's owners still have few answers.

Trooper Christopher Daniel Campbell, 28, of Yost Street was arrested March 18 and charged with one misdemeanor count of cruelty to an animal and one misdemeanor count of discharging a firearm in a public place, Manassas Park police said in a news release Monday.

He is accused of fatally wounding family pet, Che, who family members said was in their yard at 111 Runyon Court at the time.

Police did not say how Campbell was developed as a suspect in the case. He was apparently off-duty at the time of the incident.

The shooting happened around 9:45 p.m. March 8. Officers were called to investigate gunfire in the area and arrived to find Che suffering a gunshot wound. He was rushed to an emergency vet where he died of his injuries.

Witnesses reported seeing two suspects running from the area. Manassas Park police have not said if they are still looking for a second suspect.

Che would have turned 5 years old next month.

"We have no idea why it happened," said Luci Marisol Flores. "We are still in shock that someone like him who is supposed to protect our community would commit such a cruel crime against a dog."

Police have not released a motive for the crime.

Campbell graduated from the police academy in March 2012 and was assigned to the Fairfax division, said state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

He has been placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. In addition, state police have launched an internal investigation into the incident, Geller said.

Campbell is scheduled to appear in court May 5.

(12) comments

insidebugs

From a cop diddling little boys and then killing himself to a trooper shooting dogs to a wife killing/cop killing service men....Where were we at with the gun control debate again?

Oh, and don't forget the new fighter jet we promised Israel last year shortly after overcoming yet another threat of a government shutdown. This is the part when fireworks start shooting off and James Brown does the moonwalk out on stage singing "Living in America" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5BL4RNFr58

egor20

You seriously need to up your lithium.

Abbi

And don't forget the cops who shoot unarmed human beings in the back and no charges get filed...

Pleasantly23

I can think of 20 humans in america that were unarmed when they got shot and the cops were not charged.

Interesting.

tbornottb

I am a senior citizen who loves dogs in general...but. ..... have been jumped and chased by neighbor's pit bull more times than I care to remember. I thought it was ok for me to be in my own yard minding my own business but guess not. He was in his yard with no humans around most of the times it happened until he wasn't.....jumped the fence and was almost on me before I knew what was happening. Barely got into my house each time. Jumped my husband too. Opened front door one day to get a package and there sat the dog teeth bared Neighbor said there must be something wrong with US because the dog would never hurt anyone.......really???? Police/animal control were called many times but unless the dog actually causes me to bleed they can't do one thing about it. They warned the neighbors many times about controlling the dog and keeping him in the back yard where there is a gate (which they never close...well duh!). No amount of warnings has ever had an affect . I am sorry these folks lost their 'pet' but I have to believe the officer was provoked by the dog in some way. I know many people love their pits but they are NOT safe when left to their own devices. They are dangerous. I now carry pepper spray and a baseball bat when I go outside and should NOT have to do that on my own property. Cruelty to animals? What about cruelty to humans? Some places you can't even own pit bulls...too bad PWC is not one of them.

Stretch

So, youve been 'jumped more times than you care to remember' by your neighbors dog and your husband has been 'jumped' also, but never once bled from any of these 'jumpings'? Thats fairly interesting...

Not to mention you are trying to defend an off duty police officer, who shot a dog, while in its fenced yard and then fled the scene? If the officer of the law was truly provoked by the dog, who was in his fenced yard, in some way and shot him in self defense, why would the officer flee the scene?

His actions after the incident clearly show he knew he was in the wrong when this took place.

You should look into some of the track and field events in the Senior Games this summer however, because you must be quite fast and agile in your old age to make it back into your house while an aggressive dog chases after you. I have no doubt you could at least win Silver...

tbornottb

I should have qualified my use of the word 'jumped'. When a dog leaps thru the air and almost gets a person by the arm or the neck I call that being JUMPED. Perhaps 'Charged' would have been a better word. This has been going on for years.

My husband got jumped as he was pulling the trash container up our long steep driveway. He managed to push the container toward the pit and he backed off.

In my case we have doors all around the house so its not too difficult to get to one and I have been lucky guess. The time the dog almost got me by the throat I was leaning against our garage watching my husband make something on his table saw . He was turned away from what happened. The dog leaped over the fence and was two inches from my throat. I screamed bloody murder but hubby could not hear me over the saw. The people door to the garage was open and right next to me so I ran inside. I have two bad knees so its very difficult to get away from a charging dog but I did used to be quite fast on my feet.

Two years ago I tried to go out the front door and the dog was standing there. I little while later I went to another door and there he was again. You have no concept of whats its like not to be able to walk in your own yard without having a pit bull right there menacing or charging. I love to work in the yard (its a big yard) and have to 'arm' myself. I have to be on constant guard for the dog. I even asked the police if I could carry my rifle with me on my own property for protection and was told that I needed to be careful as it could be considered brandishing a weapon...jeez.

Bottom line in PWC you MUST control your dog. This one is not even tagged. You can NOT allow your dog to run loose EVER...its the law. My neighbors have defied the county ordinances over and over. I have many pictures of the dog in our yard including tearing things up (even dug up a downspout that was buried in the yard and chewed it to shreds.. made of .METAL.) I kept the pieces and animal control was stunned at what the dog did. His owners never apologized or offered to help replace it either and it was not cheap and required a lot of labor. We are not the only ones who have had issues with the dog but seems unless they tear off someone's arm or leg no one cares.

electra1

The good news is that in the state of Virginia, BSL is not legal. If you want to live in a community where dogs can be kept out by breed, move to another state.

People like myself, who love ALL dogs, would be happy to see you go.

You are defending a scumbag who shot and killed a dog in his own yard who was doing NOTHING to anyone. What kind of monster kills a dog for no reason? What kind of monster DEFENDS someone like that?

You think all pit bulls are dangerous because your neighbors are irresponsible? Really? Do you judge people the same way? If you were robbed by someone of one race, would you judge everyone of the same race by what that one person did? The dog is NOT responsible for the fact that his owners are irresponsible jerks. He can't help it if his humans choose not to keep him behind a fence nor to properly socialize him, For you to blame him is not only wrong, but is one of the main reasons the media has been so successful in foisting this idea that these dogs are 'devils', evil', etc., which is not true. They are DOGS. They are just like any other breed, only, except that, because they're bigger and stronger, they need to be raised by people who are experienced dog handlers, not irresponsible idiots.

If your neighbor's dog wanted to hurt you, he would have already done so. It sounds more like your fear is causing the problem: have you ever considered that your fear of pit bulls and reactionary attitude is PROVOKING whatever is going on, not the dog himself? Dogs react to people and know when they aren't liked, you know, and they also pick up on the personality of those around them and know when that person wants to do them harm.

Gee.. I wonder why that dog wouldn't like you. Maybe you need to think about it before you blame the dog for HIS attitude. I don't think he's really the problem.

tbornottb

Leaning on my own garage is provoking the dog? He jumped our fence 25 feet away to get to me. Working in my garden more than 50 feet from his yard is provoking him? Getting groceries out of a car parked next to the garage is provoking him? I have had to jump back in the car more than once and sit there waiting for the dog to go around his house so I could get out. You seem to think all this is me provoking HIM?? How obtuse of you.

I am a life long Virginian and have lived in PWC for 44 years and this house for 41 of them. Always had great neighbors until 10 yrs ago when they moved in. All neighbors who lived next door before always had dogs and some were very large and never a problem. I don't care who owns what kind of dog but by law they must be controlled and NOT left to run loose. What about that don't you understand? He does not belong running loose...period. All they have to do is keep the gate to their fenced back yard closed but they refuse to do that. He comes out and sits up on the porch and waits and then leaps the fence between our yards and charges with teeth bared. That is not supposed to upset me? I have owned dogs most of my life and have never been afraid of any dog until this started to happen. Frankly I am relieved that we have not gotten another dog since we lost our dachs who was 16 and blind. She would have been lunch for that pit. I am retired and never dreamed that I could not spend time in my own yard without being charged over and over. I just don't understand any of your logic. Its like you are blaming me for doing absolutely nothing to provoke this dog. I have the right to be on my own property and not be attacked...period. What makes me livid is that animal control cannot do a darn thing unless he wounds me and frankly I am NOT going to stand there and let him rip me apart just to get him removed.

tbornottb

electra1.....allow me to add that pit bulls ARE NOT like other dogs. They have been bred for a certain purpose.....its genetic. . Even those who are raised by responsible nice kind people can turn on them. Am I the only one who reads and listens to the news of all the attacks. They attack children in their own 'family' and kill dogs that are being walked by their owners. They are NOT like other dogs.

electra1

And THAT is a large part of your and the problem. You read stories about 'killer dogs' which are made to sound horrible, but often aren't. They NEVER tell you why, do they? Dogs don't attack for no reason-- never. If the neighbor's dog is attacking you, AS I SAID BEFORE, look at your own attitude, and you just explained it perfectly. You read those stories and BELIEVE them, and dogs will react to that fear. For heaven's sake, even if it were true that the dogs were bred to hurt people which is NOT TRUE, dogs react to people from what they sense of them and their fear of them and or their hatred of them. If that dog has a problem with you, it is because you have a problem with him. They ARE like other dogs, and if you weren't so bigoted and ignorant, you would know that.

tbornottb

electra1 - I am one of the most tolerant and liberal people on the planet. What others do is their personal business unless it affects me directly and the behavior of this dog does. He illegally invades my personal space and his owners do not care about the law in PWC at all and take no responsibility for their dog's actions. They snub the police warnings and nothing ever gets resolved. You have now crossed the line and used degrading and defamatory language by calling me a bigot and ignorant. This space is for opinions just like editorial space in hard copy newspapers. We obviously disagree about the breed and thats ok but you have no right to call me names. You don't know me but have labeled me in a terrible way . Go ahead and continue to flame if you must but for me....this conversation is OVER>

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