A dog is being lauded as a hero by his family for giving his life to save them during a shooting near Houston, Texas.
The labrador, named Zero, jumped to action when a gunman opened fire during a birthday party at the home of Laura Martinez last Sunday night. Martinez and her two children were shot as Zero attacked the shooter. The dog was hit by a bullet during the altercation and later died.
"I honestly believe if Zero had not kept jumping on him, he would’ve been able to get shots higher than our legs," Martinez said, according to Click 2 Houston.
The suspected shooter has now been identified as Javian Castenada, a friend of the family who they believe was involved in a robbery of their home. Police believe he is in hiding and is considered armed and dangerous.
The Martinez family said after the burglary, they confronted Castaneda's parents with their suspicions that he was responsible. A few days later, Canstaneda allegedly arrived at the party and began arguing with the Martinez family, which escalated into gunfire.
"I’m staring at the whole scene around and it almost feels like a dream," Martinez's daughter Valori Pace said. "I went to go turn to run and I just feel instant pressure in my lower back. Put my hand back there and I realize there was blood all over my hands," she said.
The family is recovering from their gunshot wounds, but mourning the death of their beloved dog, who they've dubbed "Zero the Hero."