A Galveston, Texas, man was arrested Monday after police said he threatened to kill his girlfriend at their home and then fatally stabbed the family’s cat.
As the man killed the cat, his 4-year-old son found an AK-47 rifle in the home’s bedroom and fired it in the house, according to police. The gunfire left bullet holes in a dresser and a wall, the Galveston Daily News reports.
Mario Eduardo Salinas, 27, faces charges of cruelty to a non-livestock animal, terroristic threat to a family member and tampering with physical evidence, police said in a news release Friday.
Salinas was booked at the Galveston County Jail, where he remains on $47,500 bond.
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Witnesses said that Salinas stabbed the cat, Snowflake, 12 times with a kitchen knife, according to police. No one else was injured.
Police said the incident began earlier in the day, when Salinas threatened to chop up his girlfriend and kill her after he found out she was considering leaving him, the Daily News reports. He also threatened to take the two children the pair had together, and to kill the family’s pets, police said.
The woman left the home and called police from work around 8 a.m. following Salinas’ threats, the department said, telling authorities she feared going back, the Daily News reports. Around 9:45 a.m., others called authorities to report gunshots from the family’s home.
But when officers got to the home, Salinas — and the children and the cat — weren’t there, according to police. Soon Salinas and the children came back, and officers arrested him.
Animal control officers discovered the dead pet in a nearby alley. Police said there was blood on Salinas’ clothes and shoes when he returned to the home after getting rid of the animal’s body.
Though Salinas initially told police the 4-year-old killed the cat after finding and firing the AK-47 rifle at the pet, police said a family friend told them Salinas was the real culprit, the Daily News reports.
Police said the boy was able to access the gun because Salinas had removed it from a safe and set it on a bed during his fight earlier in the day with the girlfriend, according to the Daily News. That’s where the child discovered and fired the loaded gun, according to police.