On Friday, an Ohio woman sought aid from a police officer who subsequently shot her 4-year-old niece while attempting to shoot their charging family dog, the New York Daily News reports.

Authorities say the officer was investigating an unrelated call in the Columbus suburb of Whitehall when he heard the aunt of 4-year-old Ava Ellis call for help. From The Columbus Dispatch:

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, [police spokesperson Denise] Alex-Bouzounis said.

The officer fired once, missing the animal but striking the girl in the right leg.

The girl was then taken to an area hospital, where she is expected to recover.

“At first I thought maybe he’d shot the dog,” witness Gary Parsley told WBNS-TV, “because she was saying something about ‘Why would you try to shoot the dog?’ and he said something like the dog was attacking him, or something like that. Then, she started saying ‘You shot my kid!’”

Columbus police are reportedly still investigating the shooting.

[Image via WTHR-TV//h/t Raw Story]