A brave dog was shot dead as he heroically saved his family from a gunman at a birthday party.
The Martinez family in Houston, Texas, were hosting a 13-year-old’s birthday party at their home on March 9 when a teenager, Javion Castenada, allegedly broke into the house.
According to Laura Martinez, the 16-year-old began shooting when he was confronted by the family after stealing a wallet with $300 cash in it, some jewellery and other ‘miscellaneous stuff’.
Three people were shot, sustaining non-life threatening injuries, before beloved doggo Zero jumped at the shooter, grabbing hold of his arm and biting down.
The family believe the Great Pyrenees was attempting to protect them, and actually forced the gunman to lower his weapon, saving lives.
On a GoFundMe page, which aims to raise to pay for the family’s medical bills, Laura described how the gunman shot Zero three times.
Rushed to a local vet, Zero later succumbed to his injuries with the surgeon saying he couldn’t be saved.
During the incident, Laura was shot in the leg, while her son, Taylor Hollier, was hit in the ankle.
Her oldest stepdaughter, Valori Pace, was shot twice, and claims to have the two bullets still inside her body.
Calling on people to donate, Laura wrote:
My son Taylor was hit in the ankle, the bullet is lodged in the bone and he requires surgery to fix the damage and remove the bullet. Because of this he is now on crutches, he cannot work.
My dog Zero, jumped up and bit Javion, he shot Zero, my dog fell and Javion then fired three more shots, two hit my daughter Valori, one in the back 1/4 inches from her spine and one in the back of her thigh. The other hit the BBQ pit.
Zero then jumped again and knocked Javion down, he shot Zero two more times before he fell again. Javion then shot five more times, one bullet hitting me in the leg. I am now on crutches and cannot work as I am a driver for Lyft and was shot in the right leg. I will have to see a vascular surgeon to prepare the damage.
The police still have not caught him and my younger children are afraid, hell I’m afraid!
Castenada is wanted on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.