Deputies were canvassing a Norwalk neighborhood for a man with a gun at 161 Street about 3:30 p.m.
Eddie Perez says they asked him to remove his pit bull from the backyard so they could search it. He says he told the deputies he needed a leash for the 2-year-old dog, Ziggy, but says he was ordered to bring the dog out anyway.
A neighbor captured what happened next on camera: Ziggy spotted the deputies' canine and broke free to attack the police dog.
"I'm telling the Sheriff's, 'Taser my dog, Taser my dog.' His exact words were, 'No, shoot that (expletive) dog,'" Perez said.
With his assault rifle drawn, witnesses said one of the deputies shot Ziggy in the head as about a dozen kids looked on.
"They shot the dog in front of everybody," said Eric Castaneda, a witness. "My daughter, she's 12 years old, she just ran in crying. How could they do that?"
Witnesses said the dog limped back to its home before collapsing in the driveway.
Perez said he is devastated by Ziggy's death, but what upsets him most is how the situation was handled.
"They don't apologize," he said. "They saw their dog was more important to them than my dog. They're the ones that told me to do what I did. They're not taking responsibility for it."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has not commented on the incident.
Perez said the deputies didn't end up searching his backyard and that he later found the suspect's weapon.
Perez said he has hired an attorney.