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PHOENIX -- A split-second decision led a Mesa police officer to fatally shoot a dog inside a retail store Monday night.

Officers had responded to the Target at Longmore Road and Southern Avenue after a man, identified as Samkeith Jahveh Jurden, had been asked to leave the store and refused.

When police arrived, Jurden was sitting in an aisle dressed only in swim-type shorts and black socks. He was talking on the phone to an unidentified person and was asking that person to put his grandmother on the phone to pray with him.

Officers attempted to take Jurden into custody twice. During one attempt, he allegedly bit an officer on the arm.

The Jurden had a dog and unleashed it on police when they attempted to arrest him. The dog bit an officer in the arm and was shot.

Jurden was tased several times.

A witness said the dog had also bit another person near an apartment complex where Jurden spent time.

The officer was treated and released from a hospital.

Jurden was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one count of resisting arrest, one count of disorderly conduct, one count of trespassing and one count off assault with a vicious animal.

KTAR Newsroom,

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