Roshelle Pearson was taking her 8-year-old daughter’s Chihuahua puppy, Princess, for a walk on Saturday night in Davie, Florida, when — from nowhere — came a sharp sound and then a yelp from their dog.
“There was blood in her mouth,” Pearson told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I held her and talked to her.”
Within minutes, Princess was dead.
Onlookers called 911 and police arrived to find Pearson covered in blood. She was holding the puppy’s limp body, according to a police report first obtained by local TV station WPLG.
According to that report, witnesses pointed authorities to the balcony of a 16th-floor apartment in a nearby high rise. They told the cops that they had seen two men run into the apartment after the shot was fired.
Police went to the apartment and spoke to 19-year-old Johansen Concepcion De La Ros. According to the police report, the teen allegedly told officers that he was shooting his pellet rifle toward a lake when the puppy walked into the line of fire.
He claimed that the shooting was accidental, the police report shows — but his friend contradicted his story. Daniel Alvarez told police that the shooting was intentional.
When officers searched the apartment, they found a black scoped rifle and took Alvarez and De La Ros to the precinct for questioning.
The report classifies the firearm used as a “sniper rifle” that shoots pellets.
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Alvarez allegedly claimed that the two men were on the balcony with the pellet rifle and that, shortly after 6:30, De La Ros got down on one knee and said, “I’m going to shoot the dog.”
An off-duty police officer, Miguel Osorio, allegedly saw the men on the balcony and told Pearson that her dog had been shot.
PEOPLE confirms that police charged De La Ros with one count of animal cruelty. He has been booked into the Broward County Main Jail in lieu of $2,500 bond.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
He has not yet entered a plea, and court records don’t reflect an attorney authorized to speak on his behalf.
While the case moves forward against De La Ros, Pearson has had to figure out a way to break the news to her 8-year-old daughter.
“Yesterday I told her someone shot her dog and they were trying to save it,” Pearson told the Sun Sentinel on Sunday. “I wanted her to sleep last night. Today I will tell her that her dog didn’t make it.”