Man saves his dog from attacking dog with gunshot, also shoots fellow owner

Manuel Alen feared for his, dog’s safety, says neighbor charged at him

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A 74-year-old man turned to gunfire to save his dog from being attacked by another dog.

Manuel Alen was walking his Jack Russel mix, Little Paco, on the same familiar path they’ve taken for the last 11 years when a large black lab named Claire attacked the dog out of nowhere.

“Before I could even react, (the dog) grabbed him by the belly and was shaking him like a rag doll,” Manuel said.

Manuel, who carries his permitted firearm for self-defense, pulled out his gun and shot the black lab.

“He was killing my dog,” Manuel said.

Valeria Rodriguez, Claire’s owner, reacted by barreling toward Alen, he said.

“She came at me and I was fearing, because it was not just her,” Alen said. “There was a lot of people there.”

Alen fired his gun again, striking Rodriguez in her abdomen.

“Really, really sorry I shot that lady," Alen said. "I was shocked when I pulled that trigger because (I’ve) never done that in my life.”

Alen, whom surrounding residents called a great neighbor, was arrested Saturday on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Rodriguez is expected to make a full recovery, as is Little Paco. The same can’t be said of Claire, whose leg may have to be amputated.

The elementary school teacher said she was getting ready for dinner when she heard what sounded like fireworks. As she came outside, she saw her neighbor and said, “You shot my dog.”

Rodriguez said that is when she felt a “sting” in her chest, looked down and saw blood.

“I touched the hole, I saw the blood and I immediately, like, started focusing on somebody needed to get me to a hospital,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez then started to worry about who would watch her 9-year-old son if she died.

She doesn’t understand why her neighbor would shoot her.

“There’s no people running at him,” Rodriguez said. “Like, my mom was standing, yelling, like, ‘No, no, no,’ and I came out running from my house to where they were.”

She admits her dog got out of the front door as company was coming into the home. Claire is a rescue dog she adopted in January.

The bullet missed Rodriguez’s lungs, ribs and heart.

She is still worried for her safety and has filed a restraining order against Alen.

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