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NYPD Officers Shoot 2 Men and Kill Dog Breaking Up Landlord-Tenant Dispute

By  Katie Honan Anton K. Nilsson and Ben Fractenberg | December 2, 2015 3:40pm | Updated on December 2, 2015 4:59pm

 Hectic, a mixed breed dog, was shot and killed by police Dec. 2 in South Ozone Park following a dispute. Its owner said he was a
Hectic, a mixed breed dog, was shot and killed by police Dec. 2 in South Ozone Park following a dispute. Its owner said he was a "loving" dog. He's pictured with Carlos Rodriguez, who was also shot by police.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan / Facebook

SOUTH OZONE PARK — An NYPD officer shot two men inadvertently and fatally wounded a dog while trying to break up a vicious landlord-tenant fight on a Queens street corner Wednesday morning, police said.

Burglary suspect Gary Petersen, 24, was shot in the left leg, and Carlos Rodriguez, 27, was shot in the wrist by police at 128th Street and Rockaway Boulevard following the feud about 10 a.m., police and witnesses said.

When officers arrived on scene, they saw Rodriguez with a metal pipe in hand and a 25-year-old man wielding a hammer. Two dogs were surrounding Petersen, the NYPD said.

"The officers attempted to intervene when the dogs turned their attention to the cops, causing one uniformed member of service to fire six rounds from his weapon," NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill said.

A dog named Hectic was fatally wounded, police and witnesses said.

Petersen, who witnesses said was a tenant, and Rodriguez, who they said was the landlord's brother, were taken to Jamaica Hospital. Petersen was charged with burglary and criminal mischief. The 25-year-old man was also taken to Jamaica Hospital by private means with an injury to his right leg, police said.

Rodriguez's girlfriend Melissa, who declined to give her last name, said her boyfriend had tried to evict Petersen from a room in a nearby apartment he was renting for $600 a month from Rodriguez's brother.

She claimed a landlord-tenant court had recently ruled in favor of evicting Petersen from the room, which he shared with his girlfriend.

On Nov. 29, Melissa said, the Rodriguez brothers had moved some of the couple's belongings out of the room and told his girlfriend to pack up her stuff and leave.

Police search for evidence on the corner of 128th Street and Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park, Queens, following a police-involved shooting on Dec. 2, 2015. They shot and killed a dog, and shot two men, to break up a landlord-tenant dispute. (DNAinfo/Katie Honan)

Another tenant in the the same apartment building, Antoine Ing, said he saw some of Petersen's belongings, including a bed frame and a refrigerator, sitting on the sidewalk outside the house.

"It wasn't like a legal eviction. [Carlos Rodriguez] just took it upon himself to move his stuff out of the house," Ing said.

"[Petersen] doesn't even know where the rest of his stuff is," Ing added.

"The clothes, everything else like that is gone."

Ing said that Petersen came back on Wednesday morning to find his belongings sitting outside in the rain.

In the argument that ensued, Rodriguez used two dogs to intimidate Petersen, the tenant said.

"Carlos used the dogs in an aggressive way, to try to scare him away from the house," Ing said.

A witness who was working across the street said he went to the scene after hearing several gunshots.

"I saw a dog lying on the ground and a fellow sitting on the ground," said Wendell Guthrie, 57.

Melissa said it was her dog, a 4-year-old pitbull-labrador mix named Hectic, that was killed.

"To see them lying on the street, it's devastating. I don't have kids, I raised them," Melissa said of her two dogs.

"They were always inside, it's not like they were in the street," she added.

She said she was hurt to learn her boyfriend had been struck by a bullet.

"He's probably glad that I wasn't here to see this," Melissa said.