[UPDATES BELOW; also, here's video of the shooting—warning, it's graphic] Police allegedly shot a dog in the East Village at approximately 4:15 this afternoon after it attempted to protect its owner. According to several people who claimed to witness the event and took to Twitter—including Baohaus chef Eddie Huang—officers approached a man who was "passed out" and the man's dog began barking. The dog then allegedly "lunged" at officers, who then shot it. An NYPD press representative could not immediately confirm the shooting.

We'll update as more information becomes available.

[UPDATE] An NYPD spokesman confirmed that officers shot and killed a dog at the location at approximately 4:25 p.m. The spokesman could not comment on why officers opened fire. However, Animal Care & Control records show that the dog, which is named Star, was taken there and is clinging to life.

An East Village resident who witnessed the shooting says that the four officers who responded to the scene in front of the KFC at first were "not aggressive" towards the man or the dog. "The dog was barking very loudly, as though it were protecting its turf," the witness said, who declined to give a name because they didn't want their employer to see it in print. "The man was kneeling, and then he kind of slumped over, and the dog was barking over him. I thought the cops were there to protect the dog from an owner who wasn't taking care of it."

The witness said they turned away and heard a "commotion," and saw the officers spraying mace at the dog, which they described as a pit-bull mix. "That's when it like took a few steps towards [the officers], and I heard one shot...There were a lot of people around, and I didn't hear them tell anyone to clear off." The witness added, "There was a little boy closer to the scene with his dad, and he started bawling. It was just very shocking to see an animal killed—as the owner of a shelter animal myself, it was just so sad."

[UPDATE 2] Here's video of the shooting—warning, it's graphic.