Man claims dog shot sleeping woman

Woman's boyfriend tells police gun went off when dog jumped on nightstand

By Francesca Amiker - Reporter , Lynnsey Gardner - Investigative reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The old journalism adage is that "dog bites man" isn't a story, but "man bites dog" is. Nobody ever said anything about "dog shoots woman."

According to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office incident report, a man told police that his dog shot his girlfriend in the leg.

It happened late Tuesday night at a home on Patuou Drive West in the Herlong neighborhood on the city's Westside. 

Police said a man and a woman were sleeping when they were woken up by the man's dog, Diesel. 

The man told officers that he got up to let the dog outside, and when they came back inside, Diesel walked back into the dark bedroom where the man's girlfriend was still sleeping. 

The man then saw a "flash and a bang" -- it's believed that the dog jumped up on the nightstand, causing a Springfield XD40 to discharge, according to the report. 

The 25-year-old woman was hit in the leg. She was taken to Orange Park Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. 

The woman told police that she didn't know how it happened. She said she was sleeping and was awakened by a throbbing pain in her leg.

Neighbors said they were left confused by the freak accident. Donald Hanlon has lived on Patou Drive West for 35 years, and he said Tuesday night was the most commotion that the neighborhood has ever seen. 

"Lights, sirens, big commotion -- I just wanted to know what was going on. I was just weirded out by the entire street being taped off and what the crime scene unit was doing," Hanlon said. "I was just overwhelmed by the commotion and come to find out that something like that happened."

News4Jax went to the home across the street from Hanlon's house, where the incident happened, but no one came to the door. 

Neighbors, including Hanlon, said they feel like it was an accident. 

"I think, either way, there was a weapon involved," Hanlon said. "I don't think it was intentional, but I don't think the dog could do it."

The dog’s owner does have a child, but the child was not at home at the time, News4Jax was told.

The JSO report obtained Wednesday is purely an information report. News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said it's possible that officers will continue the investigation by testing the gun, for example, to see if it's possible the dog could have fired the weapon accidentally.

Smith wasn't surprised by the case, saying, "stranger things have happened."

Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.