Within minutes after taking her puppy, “Trooper”, outside her home on September 12, 2012, Frisco City, Alabama resident Glenda Trotter said, “That calm afternoon was shattered by the sound of a gun blast, followed by the shrill cry of a dog. I recognized my pup's voice - his yelp - at once, and took off, calling for him.”
Mrs. Trotter was met by neighbors. “They told me that the shot frightened some children playing next door, prompting parents and neighbors to investigate.”
After shooting the seven-pound, seven-month old Miniature Doberman Pinscher puppy, according to neighbors, Simmons ran inside his house. “Shortly thereafter, he emerged, armed with a machete-like weapon and struck the injured puppy numerous times, then, picked up the puppy and violently hurled him against the house.”
Mrs. Trotter stated that she knocked at the door several times, and asked Simmons to come out, but he refused. Neighbors pointed out “Trooper’s’ body, at the spot where he landed after being thrown against the house.
Mrs. Trotter: “He wasn’t dead. He was bleeding. He was dying, but managed a whimper that killed my soul. I can never forget the pleading look in my “Trooper’s” eyes. All I could do was cry and beg for help to get him to my vet.”
Aquilla Lee Simmons was arrested and booked at the Frisco City Police Department at 5 P.M, on September 12th, but was released. In the police report, obtained by Mrs. Trotter, Simmons admits to shooting the puppy, as well as retrieving a “long style knife and hitting the dog several times, trying to kill him.” A court date has been set for October 23, 2012 in Frisco City.
Mrs. Trotter says that Simmons claims - in his statement to police - that he thought “the dog was going to bite him.” There’s no evidence that my little dog was a threat to him, or anybody. Everybody in our neighborhood knows “Trooper”. It also appears that he claims that “Trooper” was trying to eat the food put out for his two Pit Bull Dogs he keeps chained in his backyard. There’s no way “Trooper” would dare go near two big dogs. For heaven’s sake, he only weighed seven pounds. Besides, “Trooper” never lacked for food, and wouldn’t be scrounging around for other dogs’ food.”
“In addition”, Mrs. Trotter said, “If Lee Simmons had been bothered at all by “Trooper”, why didn’t he come and speak to me? That’s the way a neighbor should act, and it’s the way most of us in this neighborhood interact with one another.”
Daughter Kelly Stabler, acting as spokesperson for Mrs. Trotter, says the family and neighbors are devastated by the murder of their beloved “Trooper”. She stated that their local veterinarian examined “Trooper’s” broken body, reporting that the bullet entered near the collar bone and exited the spine, resulting in irreversible paralyzation. The veterinarian concluded, in lieu of the excessive damage inflicted from the machete-type sword and the impact of being thrown against the house, together with the destruction of the spinal cord, that it would be better to end his suffering.
Stabler remarked, “We are not happy that the police report reflects a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty. If any animal cruelty crime called for felony charges and punishment, this surely would comply.
"We'll be meeting with officials in Frisco City to discuss the charges. The witnesses to this obscene crime against an innocent puppy are standing ready to testify. We want justice for “Trooper”, and intend to be his voice - from his grave."
Stabler, her mother, friends and neighbors have expressed their concern in regard to Simmons's exhibition of reckless conduct by firing a weapon in the middle of a residential neighborhood, but have received no response on this issue from officials to date.
Stabler added, “If a grown man can become so enraged at a tiny dog – enough to fire a weapon, with children and unsuspecting residents nearby - we feel his presence presents an imminent danger to the peace and security of this community."