Dashcam shows cop shoot family dog; shrapnel wounds bystanders

Fort Worth, TX - (NBC) - A Fort Worth, TX family is outraged after a police officer shot and wounded their family pet. Officials say the officer was within his rights because the pit bull mix was threatening him.

It started as a routine traffic stop, but ended in gunfire and was all caught on tape by the officer's dashcam. The officer stopped a pickup with unrestrained children in the back. As the driver pulled into a relative's driveway, a dog greeted the driver. The dog then began to bark and moved towards the officer.

Just off camera the officer fires two or three shots, injuring the dog. Shrapnel hits a teenager in the stomach and his cousin in the leg.

Police say the video shows the officer clearly feared his life was in danger.

The dog's owner and the 16-year-old who was hit in the stomach by shrapnel have a different view. They say the officer should never have even pulled out his gun, pointing out that several children were within feet of him when he fired.

The dog, named Papi, is recuperating at a vet clinic.

The shooting is under routine investigation, but police say from what they've seen so far, the officer did nothing wrong.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.