A dog called Zero is being hailed as a hero after attacking a gunman who opened fire at a family birthday party, sacrificing his own life and saving the lives of the family members.
The incident took place in Houston earlier this month but has started to gain viral interest as the story of the family dog’s final sacrifice comes to light. As Oxygen reported, the dog’s owner said he attacked and bit a man who burst into the family’s birthday party with a gun and started shooting. Laura Martinez said that the suspect, Javian Castaneda, was a family friend who they believed had broken into the house and stolen several items. After Martinez spoke to the teen’s father, Castaneda allegedly came back with a gun.
Martinez told Oxygen that Castaneda shot her and her son, 19-year-old Tyler Hollier, and daughter, 27-year-old Valori Pace. But the shooting likely could have been more deadly had it not been for the heroic actions of their 3-year-old Great Pyrenees, Zero.
Family members said that Castaneda burst into the party and began punching Martinez in the face. The attack was unexpected, but the dog sprang right into action, biting the alleged attacker on the arm. Zero continued to attack as Castaneda allegedly pulled out a pistol and took aim at the family.
Martinez added that the dog was able to prevent the alleged gunman from taking aim each time.
“Every time [Castaneda] would go to aim [his gun], Zero would grab him and it would lower his shot. Say if he was aiming for the chest, his arm got pulled down to the leg,” she said.
“If [Castaneda] had been able to just aim where he wanted to shoot, we would have all been seriously hurt, or killed,” Martinez added.
Eventually, Zero was able to knock the alleged gunman to the ground, stopping the attack.
The dog’s actions prevented any of the family members from falling victim to serious gunshots, and all were expected to recover. Unfortunately, Zero was shot during the exchange and died of his injuries.
The heroic actions of Zero the dog gained some viral interest, with many sharing the story online and praising the sacrifice of the dog to save his family.
Police said they are still searching for Javian Castaneda for questioning in the shooting. They are asking members of the public with any information on his whereabouts to contact Houston police.