MARGATE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Margate woman has been left heartbroken after a neighbor shot and killed one of her dogs on Christmas night.

Arlette Ocampo said her roommate took her 6-year-old boxer, Benjamin, and another dog, Tommy, which Ocampo calls Benjamin’s best friend, for a walk in their apartment complex near Lakeside Drive that night. Shortly after, she heard a gunshot go off.

“I heard a very loud noise and a dog crying, and I knew it was my dog,” Ocampo said.

Fifty-four-year-old James Thompson, a neighbor, told authorities he pulled the trigger on Benjamin in fear for his life, but Ocampo said not only is Benjamin friendly and tame but he and Tommy were being walked on a leash.

“The guy was just like, ‘Oh, you know, I feared for my life, it was self defense,’ and it was just a blur from there,” said Ocampo.

Ocampo said she has been left heartbroken after the incident since Benjamin meant the world to her and her family.

“He didn’t deserve to die like that,” said Ocampo. “He literally died in my arms.”

Thompson stuck around after the incident, but Ocampo said he didn’t show much compassion. He was later taken into custody.

“The hardest part is knowing that someone killed my dog,” she said. “Letting go of a dog, I understand it’s going to happen, but the way that it happened … I wish I could just turn back time and, you know, walked him in some other direction. I think that’s the hardest part. I don’t think I’m ever going to get over that.”

Ocampo also feels Tommy will never be the same.

“He’s scared. I’ve walked him already two times, and the noises, they truly bother him. Like, he’s walking scared,” said Ocampo. “Right, baby?”

7News stopped by Thompson’s residence to get a comment, but no one answered.

Thompson is facing animal cruelty and firearm charges.

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