Oakdale Police responded to several emergency calls that a dog had been shot in a crowded shopping center on Thursday, May 26 close to 7 p.m. The end result saw the shooter going to jail for his actions and the dog’s owner also arrested on drug charges.
Police Sergeant Ben Savage said police first received calls at 6:58 p.m. regarding a man shooting a dog in the Cost Less Shopping Center on North Yosemite Avenue. When officers arrived a man with a pistol was detained in the parking lot and a dog, a pit bull mix, was tended to for a gunshot wound.
Savage said the police investigation revealed that the pit bull, named Daisy, had been with its owners floating on a kayak on the Stanislaus River when the dog unexpectedly jumped off the boat and ran into the Cost Less parking lot.
Michael J Struck, 76, of Oakdale, was walking his dog, a Queensland Heeler mix, when Daisy allegedly became aggressive to the other dog. Struck tried to separate the two and drew a Colt .45 pistol, firing once, striking Daisy in the shoulder area.
Sgt. Savage said Struck had a valid concealed weapons permit to possess the gun.
During the investigation, police learned that Struck also brandished the gun at a witness that had approached him in an effort to help. When police attempted to interview Struck about the incident, he refused to answer questions, requesting a lawyer.
Daisy was taken to the Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Modesto with what Sgt. Savage described as a “through-and-through” gunshot wound.
Police arrested Struck for misdemeanor charges of negligent discharge of a firearm and brandishing a firearm in a threatening manner and booked him into Stanislaus County Jail.
“His actions in this case are questionable,” Sgt. Savage said, pointing out that stores in the shopping center were open for business and several persons were in the area. “Using your firearm to break up two animals fighting may not be within the parameters of carrying a concealed weapon for self-defense purposes.”
Savage added that the incident was still under investigation as police were still interviewing and attempting to contact potential witnesses.
When police contacted the dog’s owner, Michael Gonzales, 35, of Oakdale, they found he had methamphetamine and a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine.
Gonzales was arrested for felony possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia and also booked at the county jail.
On Friday, May 27, an Oakdale Police representative said Daisy made it through the night and was still under veterinary care at the clinic.