Teen charged in connection with killing bald eagle

Shooting reported in NW Harris County

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A 17-year-old boy has been charged with hunting without the landowner's consent after authorities said he shot a bald eagle to death Tuesday in Northwest Harris County.

The killing left some residents shocked and angry.

"My son came out and I told him what happened," resident Dale Jozwiak said. "He was about in tears."

[Watch original story on Click2Houston.com]

Witnesses told KPRC-TV that a group of teenagers who live in the Woodland Oaks neighborhood are responsible for shooting the national symbol from the top of a tree.

Eric Garcia and his father were exercising along a nearby trail when they said they came across the bird eating fish.

"We had to just sit there for at least a couple of minutes and just watch it. It was just amazing," Garcia said. "You don't see that every day."

Eric said they left to finish their exercise, and when they returned, the eagle was lying on the ground.

"We see three guys perched over the eagle, and right away I could see by the size of the bird. I was shocked," Garcia said. "And I said, 'That's the eagle. I know it.'"

The Garcias said one of the teens was armed with what appeared to be a pellet gun. Other neighbors were told and called 911. Dale Jozwiak took it upon himself to watch over the eagle's remains until authorities arrived.

"I've watched the eagle for over five years and thought it was my responsibility to just stand guard over the eagle, where no one would take it away or disregard of it," he said.

A special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began an investigation.

"I hope people watch this and they tell their kids that's bad, you can't do that," Garcia said. "It's un-American."

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