PHOENIX -- A man arrested on suspicion of firing a BB gun at a group of about 10 cats claimed he was mad they had overrun his neighborhood, police said.
As the cats scampered under a Phoenix police patrol vehicle, officers said they watched as David Morales, 22, opened fire again, and some of the projectiles struck their police unit.
The suspect's 21-year-old girlfriend and 6-month-old child were in the car at the time of the incident, authorities said.
Officers had been patrolling in the area of 4715 N. Black Canyon Freeway at around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday. They said they watched as Morales pointed a pink and black BB gun out of the window and fire at the cats that had gathered on the west side of the road, according to a police report.
The officers said they heard the distinct sound of the BB gun and heard at least one of the cats cry out as if in pain.
Morales then made an U-turn in the roadway and began shooting at the cats and, as the animals fled under the police vehicle, Morales fired again, this time striking the police unit.
Officers detained Morales in the area of 2100 W. Camelback Road. He was arrested on booked into jail on charges of animal cruelty. The BB gun was retained by police.
Officers attempted to locate the injured cats, but were unable to find them.