NEIGHBORHOOD DOG FLOKI SAFE — The golden dog stands in front of neighbor Alma Suarez’s house, confused at the commotion. The friendly pooch showed no signs of aggression when the bicyclist shot at him and will remain in the hands of his owner.

SUNNYSIDE — Staying at home is kind of the new norm for most families these days but when a gunshot rings out on a quiet late Wednesday afternoon on the 2900 block of Maple Grove, a road less traveled becomes more concerning, adding to the heightened fear of uncertainty.

“We were sitting in our living room and the next thing you know we hear this ‘pop’ and I’m like what’s going on,” Alma Suarez described, whose little girl was in the backyard playing. “I jumped up and went out to the back porch and I looked out and saw the gentleman with a black pistol and I’m like, oh my god!”

According to Suarez, the male suspect was wearing a red helmet, riding a three-wheel, yellow-neon and green bicycle and fired at the neighbor’s dog, “Floki” barking out front of their residence at the stranger.

She said they had the incident captured on camera and Floki was never aggressive or approached him. The mom relayed the information about the incident to Yakima County Sheriff Deputy Klise, who responded to the dispatch at approximately 4:22 p.m.

Floki’s owner was relieved to find out his family’s dog wasn’t injured in the confrontation and the Golden Retriever wouldn’t be facing any other disciplinary actions by law enforcement or code compliance. He was also worried about the children in both residences and to use common sense when discharging a firearm near or in the direction of any dwelling.

Shooting a gun toward a backyard and residential home was very upsetting to the mother of two as she was frightened of what could have happened should a bullet ricochet and strike an unintended target like her kid.

“It’s a good thing the bullet didn’t go through or nothing else happened, it was just that. But it’s just like, come on people, we need to stick together and help each other,” Suarez acknowledged.

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

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