PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Fiona Rickford often takes her 3-year-old coonhound to the Marshall campus of Grant High School for some exercise. But around 10:30 p.m. Friday, someone fired 3 shots at her dog, wounding the hound in the neck and paw.
Rickford, who lives nearby the campus on Southeast 91st, said she has a medical condition that makes it tough for her to walk. So, she said, she was driving behind the dog in the school driveway.
Her dog, Sadhana, spotted someone on the stairs near the track and began barking loudly, Rickford said. The dog stopped about 8 feet away from the person who, she said, immediately fired the gun, wounding Sadhana.
“I go there all the time to run my dog, to keep her fit. That’s why I moved to that neighborhood,” she said. “You know, I wait until everybody is gone.”
The hound “found someone kind of around the bushes there up by the stairs” between the baseball field and the football field, she said and barked but kept her distance. “And he just shot bang, bang, bang. No questions asked, no warning shots, nothing.”
Rickford said, “he looked very young, like a teenager.” It seemed to her the shooter was alone.
It happened very fast. “I saw flashes come out of the gun, her whimpering and in pain, and he ran off.”
Rickford found and told a school custodian who called police, then rushed Sadhana to an animal hospital.
One of the shots went through Sadhana’s neck and down through the shoulder. Rickford said the one that caused the most damage went through her to the leg area.
The doctors “had to put 3 kind of horseshoe-tye things and metal bars to hold the fracture in place,” she said.
Sadhana will recover but “she’s going to have a very, very big vet bill.”
Fiona Rickford said she understands that people are upset a big dog was off-leash.
“I’m sorry that the dog scares him but she didn’t do anything to attack him. She wasn’t even on him. She was 8 feet away from him.”
She tries not to live in fear, she said. “But it certainly didn’t ever cross my mind that a young kid would be walking on school grounds with a loaded gun.”
A Portland Public Schools spokesperson told KOIN 6 News they do have security patrols at the Marshall campus at night and on weekends. They haven’t seen an uptick of criminal activity but said the dog shooting is unfortunate.
Almost a year ago, 30-year-old Barak Rosen was found shot to death on the track at the Marshall campus. Rosen had recently moved to the Portland area when he was killed. His case remains unsolved.
Neighbors in the area told KOIN 6 News they haven’t felt unsafe at the campus, but they’re keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.
Portland police continue to investigate this shooting. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PPB non-emergency line at 503.823.3333.