A “prominent” Washington state banker who became enraged by a barking dog reportedly tried to kill the animal in front of its owners but shot the wrong dog, KIRO reported this week.
According to The Bellingham Herald, 55-year-old David William Latham had heard a dog barking for hours on Sept. 13 so he grabbed a rifle and walked across the street to where the dogs were confined in a neighbor’s fence.
Loyce Andrews told the paper that her dogs did not know Latham, and ran to the fence when he approached. She said that Latham fired a single round into one of the dogs’ chests without uttering a single word. He then turned around to walk home.
Andrews recalled that her husband, Cary Chunyk, ran after Latham.
“You just shot my dog!” he shouted.
“He turned and gave me this look like, ‘I just shot your dog,'” Chunyk told KIRO.
But Latham allegedly brandished the rifle, and the dog owner backed down.
It took another 30 minutes for Molly, the couple’s 13-month-old corgi, to bleed to death. On Monday, the lawn was still stained red.
“It’s a horrible, horrible way to die,” Andrews said to KIRO. “You don’t do that. I don’t care whose dog it is. You don’t do that.”
“Here’s her blood,” she added while showing The Bellingham Herald where the dog died.
Latham was arrested at his home on the night of the shooting. Police Lt. Bob Vander Yacht said that he admitted shooting the dog.
“He was very cooperative with officers,” Vander Yacht noted. “I don’t know what caused him to snap. But something made him go over the edge, beyond reason.”
Even after Molly died, however, neighbors had heard another large dog barking for two more hours. Andrews said that Latham acknowledged to police that he had mistakenly killed the wrong dog.
“He said to the cops, ‘Oh my God, I shot the wrong dog,’” Andrews remarked. “As if there’s a right dog.”
In a court hearing on Monday, Latham’s attorney told the judge that he knew his client “felt terrible about this situation.”
But the attorney declined to say why Latham was pleading not guilty to the charges of felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor of reckless endangerment, aiming or discharging a firearm within Bellingham city limits, and illegal carrying, drawing or exhibiting of a weapon.
Latham was released on $20,000 bond. The judge said he did not have a violent criminal history, and that he did not think he would be a danger to the neighbors.
But Andrews wasn’t so sure.
“I’m scared to death of what he’s going to do. I don’t know if he’s going to come over here and shoot me,” she said.
Latham has been ordered to turn over all firearms, and to stay away from the dog’s owners. He was due back in court on Oct. 26.
Watch the video below from KIRO, broadcast Sept. 16, 2014.