Shots fired at XL bully in street after woman attacked

A number of police officers in uniform stand between parked cars on a terraced street, with police tape across the road in the background and a police van
Two men were arrested after the dog attack in Eccles [JMG Press]

A woman has been injured in an attack by an XL bully, police have said.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said they received "several reports" that a dog was "dangerously out of control" and attacking people on Gladstone Road, Eccles, at about 21:00 BST on Friday.

The force said the dog was "destroyed at the scene" by armed officers after police and members of the public were unable to "regain control" of it.

Local residents said they heard several shots being fired at the dog and believed the police response was "very excessive".

Warning: This story contains details and footage which may be distressing

A video of the police response to the dog attack was shared on social media, which appeared to show two officers chasing the dog down the street and firing seven shots at it.

A GMP representative said the woman was "still receiving treatment for her injuries" and two men had been arrested after "confronting officers".

Local residents said they were stunned by what had happened.

One man, whose car was hit by a bullet, told the BBC he was "very shocked" and believed the police response had been "very excessive".

"You don't expect to see a police officer running down your street shooting at a dog," he said.

"Any one of those shots could have ricocheted into a house.

"Some of the neighbours and myself had our cars damaged [and] my sister was in the house and she was very distressed."

Close-up of an alleged bullet-hole in the side of a blue rain-covered car
One local said the bullets had hit his car and a number of others on the street [BBC]

The man said he had seen the dog earlier in the street and it had not appeared "overly aggressive".

"It was just running around willy-nilly," he said.

"The police didn't seem to be making any attempt to catch it - there wasn't even a dog-catcher."

GMP has been asked to comment on the officers' response.

XL bullies became subject to strict ownership rules earlier in the year, which require the breed to be kept on a lead and muzzled in public.

The GMP representative said after "local officers and the public" were unable to regain control of the dog, the "risk and harm it was causing as a banned breed" meant it had to be "destroyed at the scene as the last possible option".

"We understand the concern this incident will raise within the community but our officers have a duty to act in challenging situations on a regular basis with the aim of keeping everyone safe," they said.

They added that officers were working on establishing who owned the dog.

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