Greenwood woman allegedly ‘panicked,’ shot dog

A Greenwood woman is facing an animal cruelty charge after prosecutors allege she shot a neighbor’s dog that had gotten out of its yard.

Marian E. Martin, 73, is charged with cruelty to an animal, a Class A misdemeanor. An inital hearing on the case has been set for March 6, and a summons has been issued for Martin to appear.

Deputies with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office respond to an animal problem report on the 400 block of Vanhoy Drive in Windsong Estates around 12:30 p.m. Feb. 4. Martin had allegedly called 911 to report there was an aggressive tan American Pit Bull Terrier running loose, and that it was “attacking people and their dog,” according to a probable cause affidavit filed Monday in Johnson County Superior Court 3.

About 10 minutes later, Martin called 911 again, saying the dog came at her and she shot at the dog in its foot, according to the affidavit.

When deputies arrived in the area, they started looking for the injured dog. A deputy was eventually waived down by a man who allegedly witnessed the incident, and he told them where the dogs owners’ were, the affidavit says.

Deputies traveled to the 4000 block of Annelo Drive and spoke with the owners of the dog. The owners said they believed the pit bull got out of their yard through a gate that was left open, according to the affidavit.

They drove around the neighborhood and found the injured pit bull and brought him home, believing he had been injured by another dog. It was only after deputies told them he had been shot in his left shoulder that were they made aware of how severe his injuries were, the affidavit shows.

The owners later took the dog to a veterinarian’s office, where he was treated for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. He was later brought home, and his owners were told the bullet would not likely be able to be removed, the affidavit says.

When deputies spoke with Martin, she allegedly told them her two dogs were attached to a pole in her front yard when she heard them bark. She allegedly opened the door to find the pit bull in the middle of them, and later shooed the pit bull away by yelling and clapping her hands before bringing her dogs inside, unharmed, the affidavit says.

A few minutes later, Martin alleges she heard yelling and looked outside to see a woman walking her dog and pushing a stroller. She said the woman was upset that the pit bull went after her dog and then continued north on Vanhoy Drive, according to the affidavit.

Martin told deputies she decided to warn her neighbor, who sometimes kept his dogs outside, about the pit bull. She allegedly went to her neighbor’s house carrying a .22 caliber Ruger revolver, according to the affidavit.

Martin allegedly rang the neighbor’s Ring doorbell, but no one answered the door. As Martin was still on the porch, she said the dog allegedly appeared again and looked at her from 10-12 feet away, the affidavit says.

Martin said she “panicked” and shot at the dog twice. The dog “yelped and lifted up one leg” before running off, she allegedly told detectives.

Deputies later reviewed two pieces of footage from the Ring doorbell.

The first video showed a woman walking a dog with a child on a bicycle. The woman could be heard asking about if someone lost their dog, and is later seen telling the pit bull to go away. The dog complied, according to the affidavit.

The second video showed Martin, with the gun in her hand, knocking on the door with no reply. She then allegedly said something similar to “I’ll just shoot it,” the affidavit shows.

About five seconds later, the dog begins to walk into the yard. Martin allegedly raised and cocked her gun, aiming it toward the pit bull. The dog allegedly appeared to have little interest in Martin and began to sniff the grass, the affidavit says.

Martin allegedly took a few stops forward and shot the pit bull, causing him the yelp and run by home. She then allegedly shot at the dog again, and he began to limp toward the south. Martin also allegedly said he should get in the house, according to the affidavit.

Deputies also spoke with two witnesses. One said he saw Martin ring her neighbor’s doorbell before shooting the dog. He told police he didn’t believe the dog was not going to attack Martin, the affidavit shows.

The other witness didn’t see Martin shoot the dog, but saw her with a gun and had spoken with her about the dog. The witness told police the pit bull has approached them twice, but both times the dog complied when they yelled “no,” according to the affidavit.