Neighbors at Odds of Family Pet Shot, Killed

By: CJ Cassidy
EAST PRAIRIE, Mo. - A local family demands answers after a neighbor admits to shooting their dog.
Authorities in Mississippi County are investigating a shooting near East Prairie that killed the family's dog.
Cell phone video reminds Margaretta Latamondeer of happier times with her dogs Jack and Jill.
That all ended last week when her neighbor, E.J. Marks shot and killed Jill, the chocolate lab.
"I thought she was dead.  I got down and was petting her.  She tried to raise up one time... she raised her head up one time and then fell down," Latamondeer recalled tearfully.
At the time, Latamondeer claims Jill was playing with her grandkids on her property.
"My grandchildren was a few feet away and he could have easily missed and hit one of my babies," she said.
She also says Jill was a gentle dog she trained to help with her disabilities.
"If I dropped something she'd pick it up. She'd pick it up and hand it to us."
Two houses over, E.J. Marks disagrees.  He admits he shot Jill through a window in his house with a rifle.
He says she was digging through his trash on his property.  He says he thought the dog was vicious.
"If he hadn't been, I wouldn't have shot him.  Any dog comes up to me three times is enough. He should have been killed the first time," Marks said.
"Sometimes it just has to be done I guess," he said.
A former reserve deputy for the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office, Marks says he didn't break any laws.
The Latamondeer family worries his ties might keep him from facing any charges.
"He's well connected," Margaretta said.
As for Marks, he says he gets no preferential treatment.
"I just found out you all was coming.  The way I found out was the sheriff called me and told me you all was coming," he said.
Sheriff's investigators say they would never give anyone any preferential treatment.
In the meantime, the prosecutor tells Heartland News despite a week having passed since the dog was shot, he still does not have a report on his desk.  We'll let you know what happens next.