A West Side resident and Iraq War veteran with no criminal record is mourning the loss of his rescue dog who was fatally shot during a Buffalo police narcotics raid that apparently targeted the wrong apartment Monday night.
Cindy, a chocolate-brown 2½-year-old pit bull, was shot multiple times while chained up in the kitchen of Adam Arroyo’s apartment on Breckenridge Street near Grant Street, he said in a phone interview.
The search warrant that police left for Arroyo, who was not at home at the time of the raid, lists the upper apartment at the Breckenridge Street address, but there are two upstairs apartments at that address, and Arroyo insists that police targeted the wrong apartment.
The search warrant also states that the apartment is occupied by a “black male.” Arroyo is Hispanic.
After talking with neighbors, Arroyo has pieced together the sequence of events that occurred at about 8:30 p.m. Monday.
“They busted the door down, with a battering ram or whatever,” he said. “They came in, and within a few seconds of entering the apartment, they murdered my dog. They shot her multiple times. They had no reason to do that.”
Police late Tuesday said they would investigate any such claim.
“We’ll conduct an internal investigation into any allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the Police Department,” Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards said.
Richards confirmed that a search warrant was executed at that address by narcotics officers and that a dog was shot there.
“They went to the correct location for which the warrant was issued,” he added.
Richards later said detectives who were at the scene insisted that the dog was not chained or leashed in any manner before it was shot.
Arroyo’s landlord called him while he was at his job as a security officer to tell him that his apartment was being raided. He immediately rushed home.
“I saw all the blood and the bullet holes in the wall,” he recalled Tuesday. “I collapsed, and I just started crying. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I’ve been crying all day.”
Arroyo’s copy of the search warrant lists the names of Narcotics Unit detectives who were looking for crack cocaine in his apartment.
“They trashed the place,” he said. “It looks like a tornado hit it.”
One neighbor who was outside prior to the raid said she saw about half a dozen unmarked police cars, before roughly seven to eight officers entered the house.
“All I heard was gunshots. ‘Boom. Boom. Boom,’ ” said the woman who gave only her first name, Jen.
“Then I heard my friend say, ‘Wow, they shot his dog.’ ”
“I fought for this country,” he said. “I put my life on the line for this country. I got shot at so this could be a free country. And this is how I’m treated afterward?”
Arroyo said his dog had a great temperament and was a favorite of neighbors. Kids in the neighborhood used to come by to pet her.
Tuesday, he took Cindy to the SPCA Serving Erie County.
“I’m going to have her cremated, so she can always be with me,” he said.