A police officer in Ventura shot and killed a dog that was off leash and apparently had tried to bite him early Thursday, authorities said.

The incident occurred around 4 a.m. while officers was on routine patrol along Ash Street.

The dog was not leashed and “immediately headed toward” the direction of the officers, police detailed in a news release.

“As the dog approached one of the officers, it circled behind him, and attempted to bite him. The officer attempted to avoid the dog however it continued aggressing him,” according to police. “The officer drew his service weapon and fired several rounds at the dog striking the dog several times.”

The dog died at the scene.

The dog, described as a 45-pound Belgian Malinois mix, had apparently bitten a female at Plaza Park on April 9.

At the time, the owner was cited for having the dog off leash during the encounter.

Authorities reminded dog owners that they are responsible for having their pets leashed anytime they are on a public street, alley, lane or open area.

Off-leash areas are available at Camino Real Park and Arroyo Verde Park during designated hours.