A Texas police officer accidentally shot and killed a woman behind a shopping plaza when he fired repeatedly at a dog believed to be hers that was running at him, authorities said. The officer and other emergency workers in the Dallas suburb of Arlington responded Thursday to a welfare check concerning the woman, who appeared to be passed out in a grassy area behind the plaza. The barking dog, which residents said was small and resembled a beagle, ran toward the officer as he was calling out to the woman. Police said the officer began backing up, then drew his gun and fired at the dog as it kept charging at him. The woman, identified as 30-year-old Margarita Victoria Brooks by the Tarrant County medical examiner's office, yelled out after the shots were fired, they said.
Brooks died at a hospital; the dog survived, reports the AP. People who live and work near where the shooting occurred said they often saw Brooks walking with her boyfriend and that the couple appeared to be homeless. They said the pair always had a dog with them. Larry Hamilton told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Brooks was "a good-hearted person" who always made sure the dog was fed before she was. He said the dog was small and a mix between a beagle and Labrador retriever and didn't appear to be aggressive. Arlington police Lt. Christopher Cook said Friday that it's not clear if Brooks was having a medical emergency before the shooting. Investigators are reviewing body camera footage and additional information is expected to be released later Friday, including how many shots the officer fired and how many times Brooks was struck.
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