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Westminster man who allegedly shot dog faces assault, reckless endangerment charges

What started out as a family enjoying s’mores in the backyard ended with shots fired and a dead dog, according to a Carroll County Sheriff’s Office investigation.

Westminster resident John L. Mallory Jr., 52, faces charges of first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, online court records show. He was being held without bond as of 3 p.m. Monday.

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Police responded to a Westminster residence at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, finding Mallory, a woman and male child with injuries, according to charging documents. They were transported for treatment, charging documents read. Witnesses said the woman and a few children were in their backyard making s’mores at about 8 p.m. when Mallory arrived, intoxicated, and grabbed one of the children from behind, putting his arm around her neck, charging documents state.

Shortly after, Mallory and the woman went into the house, police wrote. Several minutes later, the woman emerged and Mallory slammed the door, charging documents read. Mallory then came out of the house with a gun and pointed it at the woman, according to charging documents. Mallory stumbled and was bitten by the family’s dog, causing Mallory to drop the gun, charging documents state. Two girls ran into the house and called 9-1-1, police wrote.

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The girls heard Mallory enter the home, whimpering as if he was injured, and then leave, charging documents read. The children heard five successive gun shots and ran outside, finding the male child with an injury to his foot and seeing the woman on the ground next to the dead pet, according to charging documents. The girls ran down the driveway and met the police, charging document state. They told police they believe the dog was trying to protect them from Mallory, police wrote.

The woman was taken to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center for serious injuries to her extremities, charging documents read. Jonathan Light, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said Tuesday afternoon that the injuries were from the dog biting and no one was shot, aside from the dog.

Deputies found in the yard shell casings consistent with a .22 caliber pistol, located a 9-mm handgun next to the dog and a 9-mm magazine on the deck, according to charging documents. Police suspect Mallory was holding the 9-mm gun when the dog bit him and he inadvertently discharged the magazine, then grabbed the .22 caliber gun from the house, came back outside and shot the dog, charging documents state. Inside the home, police found blood smears on the walls of the first and second floor, charging documents read.

In an interview with police at Carroll Hospital, Mallory said he consumed alcohol Saturday night in Baltimore and took Valium at some point, police wrote. Mallory told police he did not remember driving to Westminster or conversations with the woman or children, according to charging documents. Mallory did recall the dog biting him and the woman, then remembered retrieving a 9-mm gun, but did not know whether he shot the dog, charging documents state. Mallory could not recall other parts of the incident, saying he “blacks out” when he drinks, charging documents read.

Mallory has a bail review hearing scheduled for Tuesday. There was no attorney listed for him in online court records Monday afternoon.

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