A local family is dealing with the loss of a man who police say was killed over a dog dispute.
On Tuesday police arrested 27-year-old Tyrirk Harris after he allegedly shot and killed his neighbor Frank Santana, 47, in the Tacony section of Philadelphia. Investigators say Santana confronted Harris over his dogs that had defecated on his lawn. The confrontation led to Harris pulling out a 9-mm handgun and fatally shooting Santana in his face and chest.
“An animal only would get a gun and shoot somebody over something so senseless, so unimportant” said Casandra Perez, Santana’s cousin. “He could have just called the cops and try to resolve this amicably.”
Investigators say Santana, a Yonkers native, had just moved to Philadelphia a month ago. Now in the aftermath of his death, family members are moving Santana’s widow and 6-week-old daughter out of Tacony.
“We’re here to take Raquel and the baby home,” said Perez. “Get away from all this.”
Investigators say Harris was recently laid off as a school district police officer. Santana, who lived on the 6500 block of Torresdale Avenue with his family, complained to Harris about his two dogs, a Chihuahua and German Shepherd, making a mess on his front lawn. Neighbors say Santana wasn’t the first person to complain.
“I know a few times we have said something to him about that little dog, the Chihuahua,” said David Cheatley, Santana’s neighbor.
“Dog owners that allow their dogs to defecate on someone else’s property, I know how irritating that is, I’m a homeowner myself,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. “It’s stupid, it’s another senseless death.”