Teens injured when Fort Worth officer shoots dog, police say

FORT WORTH -- An 18-year-old and his 16-year-old cousin were injured by possible bullet fragments after a Fort Worth officer opened fire on a barking dog that was in a front yard on Easter, police said.

The officer, who was not identified, fired at least two times and hit the dog.

At least one bullet may have fragmented when it hit a concrete driveway, striking the two teens, police said. The dog, a mixed breed named Papi survived, but he was undergoing surgery Monday, his owner said Monday. Police described the dog as a pitbull mix.

"The officer felt threatened," said Fort Worth police Sgt. Chad Mahaffey on Monday. "He fired at least two times and they were injured by either a bullet fragment or debris."

The officer was on active duty Monday, Mahaffey said.

Jonathan Dimas, 18, a senior at Lake Worth High School, was hit in the right leg and upper left thigh. His cousin, Pedro Turrubiartez, 16, was hit in the upper chest.

The fragment or debris penetrated Dimas' leg and thigh and grazed Turrubiartez's chest.

Both were taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth where they were treated and released shortly after the shooting.

The incident happened about 6:20 p.m. Sunday in the 2000 block of Kearney Ave.

Dimas said his family had been at an Easter party in east Fort Worth and had just returned home when he saw a Fort Worth patrol car with its lights on pulled in front of his home.

"I guess he was there because my cousins had been riding in the bed of the truck," Dimas said Monday. "The officer told me to come over to him."

Mahaffey said the officer stopped in front of Dimas' home because he had unrestrained children in the bed of his truck.

Papi started barking, but he didn't lunge at the officer, Dimas said. Papi weighs about 50 pounds, family members said Monday. Mahaffey said the officer feared the dog.

"I was about a foot away from him and I told the officer that he's not going to bite," the Lake Worth student said. "Then all of sudden, the officer fired once."

Papi then ran away, but the officer fired and hit the dog, Dimas said.

"The officer said, 'I didn't know the dog,' " Dimas said. "And he also said, 'I didn't hear you,' "

Dimas said he retrieved Papi and it was then that his girlfriend noticed that he was bleeding.

"It felt like someone had thrown firecrackers on me," Dimas said.

Melissa Aguilar, Dimas' mother, questioned the officer having to shoot with several children in the area.

"He didn't have to shoot at my dog," Aguilar said Monday.

Maria Guadalupe, Turrubiartez's mother, said Monday that her son called her immediately after the shooting.

"They had just left our house and they were all going fishing," Guadalupe said Monday. "He called to say that I needed to come over because I needed to pick up his younger brothers. He said he had been hurt."

Mahaffey said the department was conducting an investigation into the shooting.

"Anytime an officer is involved in a shooting, he or she are offered the option to take some time off," Mahaffey said. "But we don't force them."

DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR., 817-390-7763