MaryKay Ayers said her son is having trouble coming to terms with the death of his dog after it was shot and killed by a neighbor as it was in a fenced-in yard Saturday night.
"It's just horrible," Ayers said Monday night. "I hope they nail him (the neighbor) to the wall for this."
Northeastern Regional Police charged Joel T. Jackson, 49, of the 100 block of York Street in Manchester Borough with misdemeanor reckless endangerment and cruelty to animals, said Chief Bryan Rizzo.
During an interview with police, Jackson reportedly admitted to shooting 1-year-old Chincee, a shepherd/boxer mix, telling officers he shot one of Ayers' dogs with a pellet gun because it was "aggressive."
"He claims that night he heard them barking and got a gun and shot the dog," Rizzo said.
Pick of the litter: Ayers said her 16-year-old son, David, got then 8-month-old Chincee about a year ago and the two quickly hit it off.
"David got to pick her out of the litter," she said.
But on Saturday, Ayers said she received a phone call as she was driving home from work. On the other end was a crying David who told her Chincee had been shot and was dead.
"When I got (home), I saw David lying with the dog," she said, holding back tears. "Seeing him crumpled up like that outside, I can't get that out of my head as a mother."
Max, a dog belonging to Ayers' other son, Mark Enders, was also in the yard at the time of the shooting but was not injured.
Ayers said Chincee would go to the fence that separates the yard from the sidewalk when people walked by and would put her front legs up so she could be petted. That's likely what the dog did when Jackson approached Saturday night, she said.
"She probably thought he was going to pet her but he shot her instead," Ayers said.
Interview: Officers were dispatched to Ayers' home in the first block of York Street about 7:30 p.m. for the shooting.
A neighbor told officers that she heard a loud pop and walked outside to find one of the dogs squealing and Jackson standing on the other side of the fence and holding a rifle. The woman followed Jackson back to his home, but he went inside and police couldn't make contact with him Saturday night, Rizzo said.
Jackson met with officers at the police station on Sunday for an interview, and he confessed to shooting the dog. He told the officer that the dogs would bark at him whenever he'd walked past the yard, Rizzo said.
"He told the officer he thought the dogs were aggressive," Rizzo said.
However, Jackson was inside his home and heard the dogs barking, the chief said.
Ayers said there are about three houses between her home and where Jackson lives.
Jackson also told the officer that he destroyed the pellet gun. A necropsy, an autopsy performed on an animal, on Chincee's body will be performed to determine what kind of gun was used.
Jackson did not return a phone message Monday night.
'Nightmare': In the wake of the shooting, Ayers put up a cross in her yard to memorialize Chincee. She also put up posters to alert neighbors that a fellow neighbor killed the dog.
The shooting has taken a toll on David. Since it happened, he's been staying at a friend's house because it's too painful for him to be at his home, Ayers said.
"It's like living a nightmare for us right now," he said.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.