Heroic Dog Dies Saving Family From Gunman Who Attacked Birthday Party

By Bill Galluccio

March 21, 2019

A heroic dog is being praised after sacrificing his life to save a Houston, Texas family when a gunman opened fire during a children's birthday party. The Martinez family was hosting a birthday party for their youngest daughter when a teenager from the neighborhood stormed in and started shooting, sending the guests, which included dozens of children, running for cover.

Three people were shot, but if it weren't for the family's dog Zero, there would have likely been more victims. When the shooting started, Zero, a Great Pyrenees, rushed toward the gunman, identified as Javian Castenada, and bit his arm, forcing him to the ground. Castenada shot the dog three times before fleeing from the home.

Zero had to be put down after the shooting due to his injuries, but his actions saved the lives of everybody at the party.

"He jumped up to protect us and never showed any fear, even when he was struck," Valerie Pace, one of the shooting victims, told ABC 13.

Laura Martinez told police that Castenada had allegedly broken into her family's home the night before and stolen some items from her children. She went to go speak with his mother about the alleged break in, hoping to solve the issue themselves. The woman was not home and Martinez did not hear back from the family until Castenada showed up at her home with a gun.

The family created a GoFundMe page to help cover their medical expenses. Police say that Castenada is facing three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

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