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A family is mourning the loss of their beloved dog who gave his life to protect them when a man opened fire at their house.
The Martinez family was hosting a birthday party when a man arrived with a gun and shots were fired.
“This is not something we would ever think was going to happen,” Martinez said.
Texas police said the person believed to be responsible, Javian Castaneda, isn’t a stranger to the family. In fact, Castaneda is friends with their children.
After a recent burglary, Laura Martinez said they suspected one of their children’s friends was involved. Martinez told authorities they went to discuss the situation with Castaneda’s parents. When they arrived, the parents were gone. Laura Martinez said she left a note asking them to call her.
Police said Castaneda then showed up at the Martinez’s house with a gun and started an argument that led to gunfire.
Laura Martinez and her two children were left injured including the family’s dog, Zero, who reportedly jumped on the suspect repeatedly as he fired the weapon.
“I went to go turn to run and I just feel instant pressure in my lower back. Put my hand back there and I realize there was blood all over my hands,” Martinez’s daughter, Valori Pace said.
According to the family, Zero first bit the suspect after he fired shots. The suspect then shot the dog who fell back for a moment before jumping on the suspect again, who fired three shots at the dog leaving him fatally injured.
The family has a memorial where they can visit Zero, Click2Houston reported.
“I honestly believe if Zero had not kept jumping on him, he would’ve been able to get shots higher than our legs,” Martinez said.
Authorities are still searching for Castaneda for questioning.