PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police shot and killed a pit bull that neighbors in Homewood say was running free and chasing children.

Animal control officers were trying to catch the dog, but authorities and witnesses say it charged at police, leaving them no other choice.

“I was scary because we’ve had problems with this dog running loose before,” said Stephanie Poe, a neighbor.

Poe was looking out of her second-floor window on Hamilton Street, and she quickly called 911 because her neighbor’s pit bull had gotten out of the front yard.

“I seen the dog come out the gate, which he usually doesn’t,” said Poe. “He came out the gate, he ran down the street here because he seen the kids walking this way.”

The dog never attacked the children, but Pittsburgh police rushed to the scene after neighbors say they made at least three calls to 911.

“Our officer pulled up, they got out of the car and the pit bull was on the porch and immediately ran off the porch, charged the officer and the officer had no choice but to shot the dog,” said Sgt. Michael Pilyih, of Pittsburgh Police.

The owner of the pit bull was not at home. Neighbors say the officer had no choice but to use his weapon on the dog.

“Actually, the officer tried to keep him inside the gate, but once he got out and chasing one officer, the officer, you know, he had no choice but to protect himself,” said Kyle Wilson, a neighbor.

“And then the dog ran towards the police officer like he was going to bite him,” added Poe.

The dog was taken to the Animal Rescue League Shelter a few blocks away, but veterinarians couldn’t save him.

“We prepped him immediately got him on the surgery table and our doctors did everything they could, unfortunately there was just too much damage to fix,” added Erica Daniels, of the Animal Rescue League.

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