Florida Man Accused of Killing Chihuahua Puppy Named 'Princess' with Rifle, Claims Shooting Was Accident

A Miami man accused of killing a Chihuahua puppy with a high-powered pellet rifle pleaded not guilty this week, claiming the dog crossed into the path of his shot.

Johansen Concepcion De La Ros, 19, was arrested by local police after allegedly shooting the 8-month-old dog—named Princess—on September 29, one day after its owners moved into the area from Wisconsin. The incident took place in Davie, in Broward County, Florida.

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The Sun-Sentinel reported Concepcion De La Ros yesterday denied responsibility before Broward Circuit Judge Mariya Weekes. Via a translator, he said it was accidental.

The news outlet noted that Concepcion De La Ros previously told police the puppy had walked into his line of fire as he was intending to shoot towards a lake. But his testimony was put into doubt by police reports from the time of the alleged shooting, which cited another witness called Daniel Alvarez who was with the suspect at the time, on 2800 block of Southwest 73rd Way.

As reported by Miami Herald last year, Alvarez said Concepcion De La Ros told him in Spanish: "I'm going to shoot the dog." Alvarez will give evidence January 22, Sun-Sentinel reported. An image of the scoped rifle used in the second-floor shooting was later posted to Facebook.

Alvarez was not charged by law enforcement, WPLG reported. If convicted of the alleged crime, Concepcion De La Ros could face five years prison and a $10,000 fine, officials said.

The Davie Police Department said on September 30 last year the incident had been reported by off-duty Pembroke Pines officer Miguel Osorio, who said he saw the shooting take place.

In a statement, officials said: "De La Ros had a high powered pellet rifle with a scope. He took a knee, lined up the cross hairs, and took a shot killing the little dog. The dog's owner didn't know what had happened when Princess began to bleed from the mouth.

"Luckily there was an off duty officer who happened to be driving in the area and witnessed the incident," the statement added. "De La Ros was located in the apartment and the rifle was recovered. He was arrested for Felony Cruelty to Animals. Princess was taken to an animal hospital where an exam was done. The pellet traveled through the dog's chest killing it."

The 8-year-old girl who was previously looking after Princess was gifted a new puppy in December last year by a local pet store, WPLG reported. It turned out to be another Chihuahua, later named Tello.

Johansen Concepcion De La Ros
Johansen Concepcion De La Ros, 19, pleaded not guilty this week. He previously claimed the dog had wandered into the path of his shot. Davie Police Department/Newsweek Picture Team