DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - As he walked out of jail, a man accused of fatally shooting a veteran/reservist’s dog in the kennel of a Davie veterinary clinic apologized to the animal’s owner and offered to get him a new dog.
Chayse Billie made the comments after he bonded out of jail, Wednesday night.
7News cameras captured the 21-year-old as he walked out of the Broward County Jail.
When asked if he had anything to say, Billie addressed the dog’s owner directly.
“I’m sorry, and I’ll get you a new dog if you want, but I’m pretty sure you don’t want to see me right now,” he said.
According to Davie Police, Billie shot the dog at the Aycock Veterinary Clinic, located along the 5400 block of Stirling Road, at around 6 a.m. on Friday.
Surveillance cameras captured the suspect as he opened fire.
The dog’s owner, Daniel Perez, is an emergency medical technician for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and an active U.S. Army Reserves Master Sergeant. He said the gunman fired multiple times.
“A total of seven shots and just walked out, like nothing happened,” he said.
Tuesday night, Perez reacted to Billie’s arrest.
“I’m glad that he’s been caught, and he’s not going to hurt nobody else,” he said.
At Billie’s bond hearing, Wednesday morning, a prosecutor noted, “While there may have been remorse after the fact, it did not stop him from shooting and killing this animal.”
Perez said his dog, named Matilda, was a Labrador-pointer mix he considered his therapy dog, though the animal was never formally trained.
“Nothing is going to replace her. She [had] an impact in my life,” he said. “When I came back from my last deployment, I came kind of broken. She knew when I was down. She knew when I was depressed. She kind of forced me to pet her, and without me knowing, I would pet her, and then I’d be calm, I’d be OK.”
So far, the shooting appears to be random and inexplicable.
A day before publicly saying he’s sorry, 7News captured the suspect making obscene gestures soon after his arrest.
But after he walked out of jail, his attitude was markedly different.
“I love animals,” he said.
Initially, Billie shook his head when he was asked if he had anything else to say. Moments later, he apologized to Perez and ran away.
Speaking with 7News on Wednesday night, Perez said that if Billie wants to say he’s sorry, that’s fine, but right now is not the time for it. Perez added he’s not ready to hear an apology, and he wants Billie to pay for what he did.
Billie faces a felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty.
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