Crime Texas Man Says 'Sorry,' Then Shoots Family Dog in Face in Front of Children, 5 and 7 The shooter remains at large, but will face animal cruelty charges once he's apprehended By Chris Harris Chris Harris Twitter Chris Harris has been a senior true crime reporter for PEOPLE since late 2015. An award-winning journalist who has worked for Rolling Stone and MTV News, Chris enjoys prog rock, cycling, Marvel movies, IPAs, and roller coasters. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 11, 2019 12:44 PM Share Tweet Pin Email A Texas mother says her son and nephew watched in horror last week as a man approached her dog and shot the animal in the face before fleeing on foot. PEOPLE confirms with the Dallas Police Department that they are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man, who walked up to the 5- and 7-year-old children on March 7 as they were taking out the trash. Wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and backpack, the man muttered a “Sorry” before drawing a gun and shooting the dog, a 9-month-old Labrador Retriever mix named Nolan. The shooter, an African American male, quickly ran away as did the dog — sprinting back into owner Genola Vance’s home. “He ran by me into the house and there was blood everywhere,” Vance told WFAA. She said the boys were right behind the dog, screaming “someone shot Nolan!” According to Vance, “they said [the shooter] just looked at them, said ‘sorry,’ and then shot” the dog. Police confirm that neither the boys nor the dog did anything to provoke the shooter. • Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter. The shooter remains at large, but will face animal cruelty charges once he’s apprehended. Vance said Nolan underwent emergency surgery at VCA Metroplex Animal Hospital, after the bullet passed through the front of his mouth and exited his jaw, breaking it. Veterinarians were able to place an external fixator on Nolan’s jaw, WFAA reports, and they expect him to fully recover. A local chapter of the SPCA paid for his $7,000 surgery. The dog is home, back with his loving family. “We chose Nolan out of every dog at the shelter,” Vance said. “He’s like my son. I love my kids and I love him the same.” Vance said she believes the dog followed her son outside for a reason. “I think if Nolan wouldn’t have run outside, maybe this man would have shot one of the kids,” Vance said. “He took a bullet for my family.” Police ask that anyone with any information on the suspect call Crime Stoppers at 877-373-8477 or Detective Tame with the department’s Animal Cruelty Unit at 214-671-0115.