It was supposed to be a leisurely walk through Everett Park in Modesto on Saturday night. A stroll that 8-year-old Pomeranian, “C.J.”, and his owner enjoyed many times.
“He’s my best friend. He’s always been my friend,” the man said. He asked FOX40 not to release his name or show his face on camera.
“I don’t understand what makes you feel like you have to have a gun. What makes you feel like you have to shoot innocent dogs and people?” he said.
C.J.’s owner said he noticed a group of young people hanging out at the park, they were in the middle of what seemed to be an argument.
As the Modesto man was walking through, he claimed he was confronted by a man in his early 20s.
“Turned around and he looked at me -- goes, ‘What are you ‘effing looking at?'" the man said.
His response, "'I'm not afraid of you, I'm just walking my dog."
Something he now partially regrets saying.
Not wanting to fight he began to walk away.
“He decides he’s going to fire at me, and that’s when he fired at me and went through the back of my foot and it went, it pierced my foot and ended up getting my dog," he said.
His wife was at home at the time and heard the gunshot.
“He decided to take him on walks here … I said, ‘It’s not safe,’” she said.
The bullet went through the man’s foot then shattered C.J.’s back left leg.
“We had a decision and my wife says, ‘Do you want to put him down?’ and I just said, ‘No. I don’t want to put him down,'” the Modesto man said.
The man’s wound was minor, but for C.J. it was worse. The dog’s leg was amputated.
His owners said he’s having trouble adjusting to the change at home.
"If I was lucky enough to have the gun in my hand … your gun … and have you with my dog in my hands, and I’ll shoot your leg off and see what it feels like,” the man said.
The injuries have left the couple grieving. Now, they just want to catch the gunman before he strikes again.
“I just hope they catch 'em and find a way that they put these guys behind bars before they really hurt somebody,” he said.
The Modesto Police Department is still on the lookout for the shooter. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (209) 521-4636.