Mom charged after shooting her 5-year-old son while trying to target loose dog, HPD says

Miya Shay Image
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Mom charged after shooting son while targeting loose dog
The 5-year-old was accidentally struck by one of the three bullets his mother fired that were intended to target a dog across the street.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A mother has been charged after accidentally shooting her 5-year-old son while trying to shoot a dog that was running across the street in north Houston, according to Houston police.

The incident happened at 700 Dunham Road on Saturday afternoon.

Angelia Mia Vargas, 24, has been charged with deadly conduct with a firearm.

According to neighbors, Vargas, her son, and another family member were riding bikes down the street when a dog ran out.

That dog, named Bruno, is a 6-month-old boxer puppy. Bruno's owner did not want to appear on camera, but told us what happened.

"I came out of my house because Bruno was barking and barking. I thought my brother was coming," said the owner, who thought Bruno's barking was to indicate his brother was at the door. "So, I open the door just a little bit and he comes running out."

In Ring doorbell video obtained by ABC13, you can see Bruno running out with the owner following immediately behind. The owner can be seen telling the dog to come back in the house. The dog roams out onto the street, and less than a second later, multiple shots rang out. Gunshots were then followed by extended screaming by the little boy's parents.

Vargas's 5-year-old son was rushed to the hospital in stable condition with non-life-threating wounds, police say.

The boy was struck in the abdomen by one of the three bullets that Vargas allegedly fired from a small caliber pistol, according to Detective J. Hasley with the HPD Major Assaults and Family Violence Division.

"She could have handled it differently. You know, she was there, her husband was there, I was there, nothing would have happened. Nothing bad like that," said Bruno's owner.

He says he felt bad for the child getting hit, and has had nightmares since that day.

"I was asleep and I had a dream hearing the little boy crying, and that's what woke me up when I was sleeping yesterday."

From the video, you can tell only a few seconds elapsed from the dog running out to gunfire. Bruno was grazed on one leg, but otherwise fine. Bruno's owner was given a Class C misdemeanor citation for having a loose dog.

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