‘Tragically killed’: Florida residents want answers after lost dog is run over by school bus

Some residents in Coral Park, Florida, are up in arms regarding the death of a runaway dog earlier this week.

There are conflicting reports about how the German Shepherd named Ginger died Monday afternoon.

Witness Lori Berroa told local station ABC 7 News she was driving around helping to look for the missing dog. The animal got spooked by bikers, she said, and darted into a busy two lane stretch of traffic, eventually ending up hiding under a Lee County School District bus.

“The dog was not hit by any cars, cars were all stopped and the dog went,” Berroa said. “We tried to get the dog out but it was too scared.”

In footage from the incident, you can clearly see Ginger cowering under the large yellow bus.

Berroa and other witnesses said a Cape Coral police officer was on the scene and instructed the bus driver to keep moving and the dog got accidentally run over as children watched.

“This dog was safe under that bus, it was not hit, it was alive and it was scared and it needed our help and we failed that dog. The officers failed that dog,” Berroa said.

But in a statement posted to Facebook Wednesday, the Cape Coral Police Department said that’s not what occurred: An off-duty officer who happened upon the scene was just trying to help, and that it was the onlookers who interfered with the rescue.

The agency has dashcam footage of the incident, it said, but did not include it.

When the off duty cop saw what was happening she called it in to dispatch and activated her lights, as well as her in-car dash camera, said the post.

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The footage shows the officer, several citizens and the bus driver trying to get Ginger out from under the bus, but the dog was too scared, “making retrieving her difficult.”

“The officer returned to her vehicle several yards away in order to move her vehicle up to block traffic from the bus and Ginger,” the post continues. “While the officer is away from the bus, it appeared citizens continued to try to coordinate the bus moving away safely, and when the bus attempted to move Ginger was caught under the tires and tragically killed.”

The officer did not order a driver to proceed in disregard for the dog’s safety, the department concluded.

“All of us here at the Cape Coral Police Department are animal lovers and never want to see harm come to them. This was a very sad and unfortunate incident, but was NOT done in a willful or negligent way.”