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Lakeville police: Man accused of shooting dog 'execution style'

Jon Hanley // Photo provided

A North Liberty man is accused of shooting a woman's pet German Shepherd execution style outside a store in the downtown area.

In a Lakeville store parking lot, blood stains frozen in the snow mark where police say a family pet was violently shot.

"The scene itself was quite gruesome. One of the first things I noticed was the amount of blood everywhere. He was shot perfectly right between the eyes,” said Chief Patrick Howard, of Lakeville police.

The victim is a German Shepherd named Major shot execution style.

Howard said Saturday afternoon was set to be just another day around town for the dog and the woman who is his owner, when Major slipped out of the car and ran away on his leash.

"The victim the dog, to her Major was definitely more than a dog or any type of family pet, it's someone that's with her every day," said Howard.

But a store parking lot became a crime scene for the canine companion.

Jon Hanley, 52, of North Liberty was arrested and charged with criminal recklessness. Howard says Hanley may also face an animal cruelty charge.

Police say witnesses saw Hanley antagonizing the dog and threatening to shoot him, before grabbing a handgun and walking.

He walked "back to where the dog was sitting, next to his owner, before the dog was shot," said Howard. "She saw the handgun and he walked right up to the dog and all she just kept screaming was no, no! And, she actually thought he was going to shoot her."

Howard used his own vehicle to rush the dog to the hospital.

"First thing I did, was went to the dog and got the dog loaded up into my police vehicle. He was still alert and conscious at the time," said Howard.

While Major awaits surgery with a bullet lodged in his shoulder, Howard says the incident hits close to his heart.

It's the same car he carries his own police dog in.

"Just knowing that can happen to my police dog. I mean, my police dog is with me every single day at work for eight hours a day. He lives with us, he's part of our family. Just to think even, it was definitely hard to deal with," said Howard.

Hanley has already been released from the St Joseph County Jail on a promise to appear.

Police say he was not bitten by the dog.

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