A homeless woman shot by an Arlington police officer aiming for her dog were known as “regulars” in the area of the Seville Commons shopping center. On Thursday, Margarita (Maggie) Victoria Brooks, 30, was shot and killed by a rookie officer, who stated the dog had been charging at him, when one of the three bullets fired, struck the woman as she laid in the grass.
According to the Star Telegram, witnesses who knew Maggie, her boyfriend and their small brown dog, described the woman as “real loving to the dog” and “who was her soul.” Maggie always made sure her dog was fed, and others described the woman and her dog as kind and “good-hearted.”
The dog, a mix between a Beagle and a Labrador retriever, had been known throughout the neighborhood; area residents stated they often petted the dog. No one had ever heard the dog bark, and Maggie would often be seen walking along the side of the supermarket with her dog making sure to keep the pup off of the side of the road.
The Arlington police officer who shot the Brooks had been sent to do a welfare check, after a 911 call reported a woman had passed out on the grass. The fire department and paramedics had also been dispatched. According to the police report, as an officer approached Maggie, the unleashed dog standing next to the woman, began to bark and run towards the officer. The officer retreated and fired three shots at the dog. Brooks yelled out when she was accidentally shot.
The shooting was recorded on video by the officer’s body camera, and is currently under review. The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Officer confirmed Maggie died from a gunshot wound to her chest. The death has been ruled a homicide.
The dog, only grazed by a bullet, has been treated by a veterinarian and is being held in an animal shelter. After the shooting, the frightened dog ran into the garage of a car dealership to hide. A man went over to the scare dog and calmed him down.
“He just sat there with him until the dog got comfortable. But, to be honest, the dog looked scared. And that’s the one thing we noticed,” a staff member at the car dealership said.
In a news conference on Friday, Police Chief Will Johnson described what happened as an “absolute tragedy.”
“Our hearts are broken for the Brooks family and police officer involved,” the statement included.
The officer, 25-years-old just graduated from the police academy in February and finished his field training on July 1; his name has not been released. No statements have been issued whether the officer’s decision to shoot the dog was appropriate.
Rest in peace Maggie.
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