COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – A family who witnessed their dog being gunned down by a neighbor says they’re still in shock.

“Me and my wife are sitting up crying all night,” Raymond Martinez said after losing Clifford, his family’s chocolate Lab, on Saturday afternoon.

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The Martinez’s neighbor, Kevin Burr, fatally shot the dog after he said it attacked his dog while on a walk. The Martinezes said they heard a shot during their daughter’s fifth birthday party.

“It almost sounded like one of the balloons popping but much louder,” Martinez’s wife, Emily, said.

When they heard the shots, the Martinezes ran outside and saw Clifford lying on the ground, with Burr brandishing a handgun.

“My dog is trying to get back up. He’s screaming, he’s yelping,” he said. “And I screamed at the dude, ‘What did you do? What did you do?’ ”

Burr, they said, then ran away with his dog.

Clifford with the Martinez's daughter, Daphne. (courtesy to CBS)

Clifford with the Martinez’s daughter, Daphne. (courtesy to CBS)

Witnesses said Clifford jumped a fence, then growled and snarled at Burr’s dog.

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“Clifford attacked our dog,” Burr’s husband, Pam, said.

She says her husband did everything he could to separate the dogs before firing.

“(Clifford) immediately jumped in, went straight for the jugular. He went in twice and wouldn’t let go. (My husband) tried to break up the dogs and couldn’t do it,” she said.

Burr says her husband has a concealed weapons permit and carries the gun on walks because of coyotes.

“The bullet hole went right through his collar,” Emily Martinez said on Monday night.

Raymond Martinez says Burr had spoken to him before about the possibility of Clifford escaping. Martinez told him that Clifford was a gentle dog and had never been aggressive before.

Commerce City police said the case has been presented to the district attorney’s office to determine if any charges will be filed.


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