Dog killed, man shot in front of Pennsylvania church

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POTTSVILLE, P.A. (WBRE/WYOU) — A shocking crime in the middle of the day. A man and a dog were shot in front of a church in downtown Pottsville.

A suspect is now in custody. This was a very strange and upsetting scene for neighbors to witness. It happened outside the Methodist church on West Market Street.

“I was just getting ready to get out the door and then I hear this ‘pop pop pop’ then I stepped outside, I just happened to look this way — it ain’t funny — dude was shooting a dog! ‘pop pop pop pop’!” Frank Haynes said.

Haynes said he couldn’t believe what he was seeing outside of his apartment. He says around 1:30 in the afternoon he watched in disbelief as a man fired gunshots at a black and white dog just a couple feet from the steps of the neighborhood church.

“I was sitting in shock. I said, ‘Whoa! That’s somebody shooting a gun down there!'” Haynes said. “He was like pop pop pop and the dog said imitates dog crying “and then he said ‘Call the police, I shot the dog.”

Frank Haynes, who witnessed the shooting, describing Thursday’s incident.

Haynes said Pottsville Police arrived within seconds. According to the affidavit, the dog’s owner was shot in the thigh and flown to a nearby hospital.

Police arrested 34-year-old Seth Clayton Howard of Pottsville. He is charged with aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, aggravated cruelty to animals, simple assault, and reckless endangerment.

Police say Howard fired at least 10 shots, killing the dog. Haynes said Howard seemed remorseful at the scene but it’s hard to wrap his head around what happened, especially without knowing the full story.

The strange and gruesome scene left Haynes and other neighbors upset, confused, and wanting an explanation.

“We all are… Because that’s a life, even if it’s a dog, it’s a life, you know what I’m saying?” Haynes said.

Plenty of people were around when this happened. That’s also mentioned in the affidavit, everyone walking or even driving through this busy street at the time were put in danger when bullets started flying.

As for the man who owned the dog and was shot in the leg, he was released from the hospital on Friday.

Howard’s bail was set at $75,000 cash only. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 25 in front of Judge James Reiley.

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