CINCINNATI — A bizarre attempted dognapping ended in a shooting Friday morning at Mount Airy Forest. The victim: Lucius Lion, a 7-month-old American bulldog walking with owner Derek Veazy.
The pair walk in Mount Airy Forest every day, Veazy said Friday night, but the tall, dark-haired man who stopped them was a stranger. At first, he asked if he could see Lucius. Veazy said no.
“He keeps talking at me, and he says, ‘Can I have him?’” Veazy said. “I back away, and I start walking. He says, ‘Hey! I want your dog!’ Then he pulls a gun on me.”
The stranger fired twice, missing Veazy but striking Lucius once. Veazy didn’t realize Lucius had been hurt until he tried to flee and the puppy didn’t follow.
“He was just pouring blood out of his chest,” he said. “I picked him up and ran. I didn’t look back.”
When he reached his car, he wrapped Lucius in a towel and rushed him to the Red Bank Road MedVet.
“That's my friend,” he said. “I can't let him die. It could have been my kids."
The puppy will live, but the stranger’s bullet struck him in the left shoulder and shattered the leg attached. Veterinarians weren’t sure Friday night if they would be able to save it or be forced to amputate.
Veazy’s family started a GoFundMe to cover the cost of Lucius’s surgery.
Police are investigating the incident and the identity of the shooter, whom Veazy described as standing around 6 feet tall with brown eyes and a brown beard.