Texas

Teen started shooting at birthday party — but Zero the dog took him down, TX family says

His family in Houston says Zero died trying to protect them from a drive-by shooting.
His family in Houston says Zero died trying to protect them from a drive-by shooting. Screengrab

One family in Houston is lauding a dog named Zero, as their hero.

“He shot mom. He shot Zero. He shot Valerie,” said the voice on one end of a panicked phone call obtained by KTRK.

The scene unfolded at the home of Laura Martinez in southeast Houston on Saturday, while she was hosting a birthday party for a 13-year-old, the station reported.

That’s when a teenaged boy — who members of the family say stole things from their home the night before — returned, with a gun, according to a GoFundMe campaign in the family’s name.

“He punched me in the face,” Martinez wrote in the campaign description. “My son Patrick was standing beside me and immediately hit him back. Javion (sic) backed up slightly, pulled a gun from his waist and began shooting.”

The Harris County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office identified the shooter Wednesday as Javian Castenada, a fugitive “believed to be armed and dangerous” and “believed to be hiding in the Sagemont/South Houston/Hobby area,” according to a statement released on Facebook.

On Sunday, 03/10/2019, male suspect, Fugitive Javian Castenada, shot 3 victims and killed their dog at the 11700 block...

Posted by Constable Christopher E. Diaz on Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Martinez was shot in the leg, her son, Taylor Hollier, was shot in the foot and Valerie Pace, who was also at the house at the time, says she still has two bullets left inside her body, according to KTRK.

Zero jumped up and bit the shooter on the arm, and then got shot, Martinez said in the GoFundMe campaign. When he started shooting again, Zero jumped on him again, forcing him to the ground, and was shot twice more, it continued.

Martinez, Hollier and Pace were taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition after the shooting, according to KPRC. Zero was initially also transported to a vet to be treated for gunshot wounds, where he died hours later, the Go Fund Me states.

Castenada is facing three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Harris County Constable Christopher Diaz.

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