Convicted Phoenix Murderer Indicted For Animal Cruelty and Possession of Firearm

In an announcement made by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on Wednesday, a Phoenix man who had previously been found guilty of murder has been charged with shooting a dog.

According to MCAO, Ruben Garza, 38, has been charged with the shooting of a German Shepard on January 7th.

According to court documents, Symba, the dog, was out for a walk with its owner in the vicinity of Lower Buckeye Road and 99th Avenue at approximately 10 p.m. before the incident of the shooting occurred.

In a press conference held on Wednesday, Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell detailed that Symba had to undergo a right front leg amputation as a consequence.

Symba’s owners have initiated a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe to aid in covering his medical expenses.

On January 16, Garza was indicted by Mitchell’s office and is currently facing the following charges:

  • Weapons-related misconduct
  • Illegally firing a gun
  • Disturbing behavior
  • Deliberately mistreating a pet

Each of these tallies constitutes a felony. According to the Maricopa County Superior Court, Garza committed second-degree murder on September 10, 2004. Garza served approximately 17 years in jail before being released in the year 2022.

Mitchell explained that Garza’s previous conviction resulted in him being classified as a prohibited possessor meaning he is not allowed to have a firearm in his possession.