Stephanie Barber’s black pit bull Xena survived a hit-and-run about four months ago that left the dog with a broken leg and in need of regular exercise.
On Saturday, a bullet shot by a man riding a bicycle left the 1-year-old puppy with life-threatening injuries and Barber with a decision that’s torn a hole in her heart and family.
Xena had to be euthanized after police say a 19-year-old man on a bicycle brandished a revolver and shot the dog while Barber’s brother-in-law walked it down South Wilson Street around 3:30 p.m.
The shooter then rode away, the report states.
Police “definitely” have a suspect, said Lt. Brad Redfearn, spokesman for the Rock Hill Police Department, but warrants haven’t been issued.
Barber rushed Xena after the shooting to an animal hospital in Charlotte, where she was put to sleep because of her injuries.
“I can’t understand why a person would shoot a dog,” Barber said Tuesday. “She was a good dog. She was house trained.
“It broke my heart when I was at the hospital” and was told that Xena would have to be euthanized.
It’s also affected Barber’s two sons, ages 17 and 13, who were just getting over the fact that their dog had been hit by a car a couple of months ago.
“Now, this happened,” said Barber, who didn’t hesitate to press charges. “I feel better that he’ll be punished.”
Barber thinks the 19-year-old shot her dog to show off. The shooting happened near a barbershop where a lot of people were gathered outside, she said.
Xena, who was on a leash, didn’t act aggressively while walking on Saturday, Barber said.
“She’s never attacked any of us,” Barber said, adding that the dog lived inside her house and spent time around Barber’s 1-year-old grandchild. “My dog didn’t deserve that.”
Jonathan McFadden • 803-329-4082