TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A 17-year-old “cold-hearted criminal” who was wanted for his connection to several armed robberies around Hillsborough County was arrested Thursday after he shot two dogs, killing one of them during a robbery attempt, authorities announced.
“This morning we took a cold-hearted criminal off the streets of Tampa,” said Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor. “A teenager who took the life of a dog and likely would have taken the life of his owner as well had the bullets not narrowly missed this victim.”
According to O’Connor, a man was walking his two small dachshunds last Friday just before 7 p.m., as he had done for the last 15 years, when he was approached by 17-year-old Jayden Makell Harris from behind.
When the man turned around, Harris pointed a gun at him and demanded money. At the same time, officers said the man’s two small dogs became “nervous for their owner,” and acted in an unusual manner.
In response, O’Conner said Harris opened fire on both dogs, striking one and killing the other.
The man quickly picked up his dogs and ran away. Moments later, officers said Harris fired two shots at the man, and “narrowly missed him.”
For days, detectives worked to track down surveillance video which lead them to arrest Harris who, coincidentally, was wanted for an unrelated robbery out of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Harris was ultimately arrested on charges of felony aggravated assault, felony robbery with a firearm, felony aggravated battery with great bodily harm, two counts of felony aggravated battery to animals, and minor in possession of a firearm.
“Even though we made a quick arrest, we can’t bring back what this victim has lost,m” O’Conner said. “But all we can do is hope [the man] has some comfort in knowing this very dangerous individual is no longer on our streets and can’t do this to anybody else.”