A neighbor and the girl’s uncle identified her as Ava Ellis, who was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where police said she was in stable condition.
The officer was at a house in the 4100 block of Chandler Drive investigating a hit-and-run case about 3:10 p.m., Columbus police spokeswoman Denise Alex-Bouzounis said.
As the officer was walking from the home to his patrol car, a woman a few houses away called out to him, saying her sister and the girl’s mother, Andrea Ellis, had cut herself.
The officer was at the doorway when a dog charged at him, Alex-Bouzounis said.
The officer fired once, missing the animal but striking the girl in the right leg. It was unclear whether the girl was hit directly or by a ricochet. The officer has not been identified.
Andrea Ellis was taken to Ohio Health Grant Medical Center for treatment of the cut.
Gary Parsley II said the officer was following up with him about Parsley’s being struck by a car a couple weeks ago. When the girl’s aunt called out to the officer, the officer walked over and Parsley returned to his house, when he heard a shot.
Neighbors say the officer walked back to his patrol car after the shooting.
“He seemed a little disoriented, like he was really bothered,” said Norman Jones, who called the police after hearing the shot. Columbus and Whitehall police arrived at the scene shortly afterward.
Neighbors say Ellis came out of the house saying her daughter had been shot.
The officer was not injured.
Neighbor Carrie Britton said the family has two dogs and that they were on shock collars and couldn’t get out of the house.
Two dogs were being held in the back of the house after the shooting, according to police.
Police and neighbors gave conflicting information about how many other children were in the house at the time of the shooting, but nobody beside the girl was wounded by a bullet.
, “Columbus police officer injures 4-year-old while shooting at dog”