It happened back in July of 2017. Now, the neighbor who lost his dog and took a bullet is taking action, and asking for over $1 million in damages.
Police said Joseph Sallman shot John LaRue with an AK-47 just outside Cave Junction near their homes on Redwood Highway. LaRue’s service dog, Ben, was also killed.
“The dog put himself in between me and him, twice inside my truck, and my dog took over five rounds,” LaRue said.
A camel at the nearby Tiger Preservation Center was also hit by a stray bullet and died two days later.
LaRue is now suing both Joseph Sallman as well as Joseph’s grandmother, Linda Sallman, in civil court. Linda is the owner of Art’s Red Garter Steakhouse and Saloon, which is now closed. The lawsuit claims Joseph Sallman was overserved at the saloon that day.
“When I drove out past his cabin, he bailed out the front door with an AK-47 and put over 30 rounds through my truck, killed my dog, and got me once in the chest and once in the back of my shoulder,” LaRue said days after the shooting.
In November of 2017, Sallman pleaded guilty to attempted murder, unlawful use of a weapon and animal abuse. A judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
“He gets ten years and I get a bullet lodged in my arm for the rest of my life,” LaRue said after the sentencing, “it’s not very fair.” Two years after that interview, LaRue evidently feels the same way.
According to the suit, LaRue is asking for $1.5 million in damages, $80,000 in medical expenses and $500 dollars for the loss of his dog. We reached out to both LaRue’s lawyer and the saloon owner for comment but have not yet heard back.
Nicole Costantino is a reporter and weather forecaster for NBC5 News. She comes to us from Phoenix, Arizona where she graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She also received a minor in Meteorology.
Before coming to NBC5 News Nicole was an anchor, weathercaster and reporter at KAET in Phoenix, AZ. In college, she interned for CBS Evening News in New York City and the NBC4 Investigative Team in Los Angeles.
In her free time, you can find Nicole cheering on her Sun Devils and exploring the Pacific Northwest. Feel free to send story ideas and chocolate chip cookie recipes to her on Facebook (@NicoleCostantino) or Twitter (@NicCostantino).