Epic and Samson, two Great Danes, were shot to death in an Ocala neighborhood by a man armed with a Glock 9mm handgun. Told to stay in the house by 911 and by a neighbor, the shooter steps into the street and fires three shots, despite the fact that witnesses state that the dogs were tired, hot, and merely loping towards him. The dogs did not increase their speed as they approached. They were not growling, snarling or showing teeth. "They were wagging their tails" "Before they ever got to him, he began firing." He did not fire a warning shot. The witnesses state that after he shot the first dog in the face, the second dog turned and began to run away; the shooter followed the dog and shot in in the back and neck, killing Epic. Samson expired later at the vet.
- Marion County Attorney
Brad King, Marion County Attorney
The shooting of Epic and Samson was unjustified and criminal. The shooter's actions deserve and require criminal prosecution. This was not a case of self defense. The shooter disregarded the instructions of the 911 operator and a neighbor who told him to stay in the house. Instead he chose to step into the public street and fire three shots at dogs witnesses describe as not a threat. The fact that he pursued the female and shot it in the back proves that he was not in fear for his life.
Please honor the lives of Epic and Samson by prosecuting the shooter to the full extent of the law. This was an intentional act of killing. I know that there may be reservations about using valuable resources for a case such as this. But if the shooter walks away without any penalty, what message are we sending? That such an act is condoned by the law? The shooter's act of killing these two dogs shows a lack of empathy for all beings, including humans.
I hope that the criminal legal system does not fail these two beautiful loved dogs.
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