Man shoots girlfriend in foot, dog in paw

Posted at 6:01 PM, Apr 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-04 20:54:57-04

Suffolk, Va. - A man is behind bars after police say he shot his girlfriend and a dog during a dispute.

It all started with a family argument that escalated on Easter Sunday, prompting Albert Etz Jr. to shoot his girlfriend's foot and her dog's paw, according to police.

NewsChannel 3 went to the home where it happened and spoke to the victim, who said it was "all an accident."

Police say the woman's sons were arguing, and when she tried to intervene, she and one of the boys started yelling at each other - and her Jack Russell terrier wasn't going to let that happen.

"The information police received was that the dog was very protective of the mother, and the dog felt the mother was being threatened, and it bit the child," said City of Suffolk spokesperson, Debbie George.

And it wasn't over. Police say Etz stepped in to break it up, then the dog bit him.

That's when, according to police, he went into a bedroom and pulled out a handgun, and fired two shots inside the hallway of the trailer home. One bullet hit the dog's paw, and the other, his girlfriend's foot.

Now he faces two charges including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and contributing to the delinquency to a minor.

"That's because of the the danger that he put everyone in when he chose to retrieve that handgun then fire it within a home, and within a very confined space of that hallway," George said.

The woman was treated at Sentara Norfolk, and the dog taken to the vet. Both are expected to be OK.

Police tell NewsChannel 3 they believe Etz shooting his girlfriend's foot was an accident, as they think he was aiming for the dog.

Etz is still in Western Tidewater Regional Jail.