Case Snapshot
Case ID: 4962
Classification: Shooting
Animal: dog (non pit-bull), dog (pit-bull)
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Animal was offleash or loose
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Sunday, Jul 3, 2005

County: Du Page

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Justin Scott Wackerlin

An Aurora man has been charged with killing three of his neighbors' dogs, blasting them in the head with a shotgun and draping one of the animal's bodies over a fence. Justin Wackerlin, 22, of the 400 block of Bangs Street, was arrested on July 3 at his home and charged with felony criminal damage to property, misdemeanor reckless discharge of a firearm, obstructing a police officer and not having a valid state firearm owner's identification card, Aurora police said.

"He went to the yards and went on a shooting spree," said Sgt. Kevin Triplett. "I don't know why."

James Jeffries of the 400 block of South Union Street said two of his dogs were killed, a Rottweiler named Roxie, and a husky called Wolf.

It wasn't right "for those two beautiful dogs to get blasted like that," said Jeffries, 55. "We loved our dogs, they were just like part of this family."

About 12:30 a.m. on July 3, Jeffries said he heard someone at Wackerlin's address shooting off fireworks and later heard an argument between a man and a woman at the same location.

When Jeffries heard more loud noises about 5 a.m., he said he figured it was more fireworks or possibly a fight.

When Jeffries' wife, Tanjer, went outside to give the dogs some water about 8:30 a.m., she discovered Wolf's body hanging over a wooden fence in their back yard, he said.

"At first I thought he was just looking over the fence," she said. "Then I turned around and saw Roxie [in her doghouse] and there was blood all over."

Jeffries' neighbor Francisco Heredia also lives in the 400 block of South Union. Heredia said he heard loud noises while sleeping, but found nothing wrong when he got up to check his car and house.

When Jeffries' son, knocked on Heredia's door that morning to let him know what happened to Roxie and Wolf, Heredia said he found his pit bull terrier Sharky shot dead inside his doghouse.

"I never thought they'd shoot my dog," said Heredia, 19.

After Jeffries' wife called police, neighbors pointed them to a garage where they believed Wackerlin lived, authorities said in a news release.

Wackerlin was found sleeping on the floor with his girlfriend, according to the release.

When police told Wackerlin to stand up, he threatened to shoot them and resisted their attempt to take him into custody, prompting officers to use pepper spray on him, authorities said.

Police found spent shell casings near the garage and discovered the shotgun apparently used to kill the dogs, the news release said.

More shell casings were found in Wackerlin's girlfriend's bedroom on the second floor of a house on the property, police said.

Wackerlin allegedly shot the dogs while he was with a 74-year-old male acquaintance, police said. Neither that man nor Wackerlin's 24-year-old girlfriend was charged with any crime, police said.

Alcohol apparently was a factor in the shootings, police said.

Wackerlin appeared in the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles over the weekend, where his bail was set at $5,000.


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