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Home » Suspect Charged With Fatally Shooting Dog in West Phoenix, Has Prior Murder Conviction

Suspect Charged With Fatally Shooting Dog in West Phoenix, Has Prior Murder Conviction

by Pleasant View

Ruben L. Garza (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office)

A dog was injured over the weekend when a man, who was previously convicted of murder, allegedly rode past a residence in west Phoenix on a bicycle and shot the animal.

Ruben Lupe Garza, 38, has been charged with multiple offenses, which include cruelty towards an animal.

Police in Phoenix received a call about gunshots in the vicinity of Country Place Boulevard and West Kerby Avenue at around 10 p.m. on Sunday. This location is in Estrella Village, close to 99th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road. Upon arrival, law enforcement officers discovered a German shepherd with a gunshot wound on its front right leg. According to the dog’s owner, the shooter was a man on a bicycle who ignored his pleas and fired at his dog. The man then continued riding away after the shooting.

According to court documents, law enforcement officers noticed a male riding a bicycle in the vicinity. However, he fled from the officers as they drew near. The man was seen jumping over multiple walls before being apprehended by the police in the backyard of a nearby residence, where he is said to reside. When questioned about the individual responsible for shooting the dog, the victim denied he was responsible, but confirmed that he was with the actual shooter.

Law enforcement officers detained him. Upon seeing Garza, the victim confirmed with the officers that was the person that shot the dog. Garza was subsequently arrested.

According to documents, Garza was not carrying a weapon at the time of his arrest. However, a bystander discovered a 9mm Glock handgun near the site of the shooting. Close by, a discharged 9mm shell casing was also discovered in the area where the dog had been shot. Upon executing a search warrant, authorities uncovered three additional firearms within the residence, consisting of an AR-15 pistol, a .45 caliber handgun, and a 12-gauge shotgun. Additionally, detectives retrieved an extended magazine designed for a 9mm Glock.

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According to records, Garza had previously admitted to committing second-degree murder and aggravated assault during a 2004 case. He served time in prison until he was released in May 2022. Due to these convictions, he is prohibited from possessing any firearms.

After being arrested, Garza claimed that he had no part in the shooting and stated that he had been at his residence for the entire night. According to records, he informed authorities that he was unaware of any firearms being present in the house where he had resided for one year.

The authorities arrested Garza for mistreating an animal, having a weapon as a prohibited individual, and firing a gun within the city boundaries.

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