A Thursday morning press release from Chief Russell Johnson with the Salida Police Department explained a situation that happened during the evening of Wednesday, October 23. Salida Police Officers were dispatched to Walmart for a theft. Upon arrival, the officers discovered the store loss prevention team had chased a male subject out of the store that was headed toward the Monarch Spur Trail.

Officers arrived in the area and began searching for the suspect.  During the search, officers received a 911 call from 610 Walnut St. The caller said that there was a white male at the residence in possession of a gun. As the communications center began to ask questions, the caller hung up.

Officers immediately cleared the Walmart call and responded to 610 Walnut St. When officers arrived, they made contact with several of the residents in the area.

When a dog charged at one of the officers, he backed out to the alley behind the residence, but the dog continued to come at him. Fearing for his safety and knowing that an officer had been bitten by a dog at that address several months prior, the officer shot the dog one time. The dog ran off.

Johnson’s media notification indicated his officers spoke with the occupants of the residence concerning the man with the gun. However, they learned that no one at that residence had called the police. They did place two males under arrest for outstanding warrants.

As the officers continued to investigate the 911 call, the communication center ran a trace on where the 911 phone call originated. Later it was found that the call was placed from the Monarch Spur Trail area. Johnson said his office concluded that the call was most likely a diversion, so the Walmart thief could getaway.

Currently, officers are working on obtaining warrants for the male subject for the incident at Walmart and the false reporting of a 911 call.

The officer who shot the dog was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, case which will include a review of body camera footage.