PERRIS (CBSLA.com) — The culmination of a fight between neighbors in Perris turned deadly Friday when one was accused of fatally shooting the other's dog.
The man suspected of fatally shooting his neighbor's dog in Mead Valley was arrested.
The shooting was also caught on videotape and posted on social media.
KCAL9's Cristy Fajardo says Christopher Samuel, 54, was arrested at a home in the 17500 block of Clark Street and was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of animal cruelty and negligent discharge of a firearm.
According to Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Armando Munoz, deputies were called to the area around 3:30 p.m. Friday following reports of a shooting or shots fired.
On arrival, they found a dead pit bull in the yard of a residence, Munoz said.
County Animal Control personnel were called to retrieve the animal, he said.
Alexis Lemmon, the daughter of the dog's owner, posted video of the shooting on Facebook. The video shows a man with a rifle – allegedly Samuel – shooting the 2-year-old dog with a rifle.
Michael Lemmon, the dog's owner, claimed that his neighbor shot his dog after it wandered into his front yard.
Fajardo and various published reports said the families have had long-standing disputes.
"He closed my dog in his yard and he's shooting at my dog," Lemmon is heard saying on tape.
"I think he needs to do some time," said Debbie Meindl-Lemmon, "I mean, that was obviously premeditated. He had the AR-15 right there. I believe he would have shot my stepson and my husband if they had walked in."
The family says the tension between the across-the-street neighbors started when Samuel started taking pictures of their visitors.
"I said, hey what are you doing taking pictures over here and he cursed at me," said Wayne Lemmon, the dog owner's father.
They said while all that was going on, the dog got out and ran into Samuel's yard.
"He had his gate open, 'bout like it is now, and as soon as the dog runs in there, and the dog ran up to the fence where the other dogs were, he's in he closes the gate on the dog," said Wayne.
A Samuel family friend who didn't want to go on camera, told Fajardo it was the Lemmons who have been causing problems for a while. The friend also said the Lemmons put their dog in Samuel's yard to intimidate him and he snapped.
After viewing the now viral video, deputies say it was clear the dog was not aggressive and Samuel did not shoot the dog in self-defense.
"Could he walk away, get back into his yard or his house," said Riverside County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Chris Durham, "and then call dispatch or Animal Control to help him with the situation and those are the things that the video helps us to know and understand."
"He was like my fur grandbaby," said Debbie, "I loved that dog."
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