CHICAGO — A quick trip to the bins at the back of her Lakeview home last Tuesday turned into a nightmare for Jacqui Korvas Michels and her family. 

“All of a sudden, this weirdo comes out,” she told WGN News. 

Michels was chatting to the neighbors in the alley when another man, whom she says she had never seen before, came out of a nearby building. Both her dogs, “Oakie” and “Squishy,” also known as “Barry,” were with her, off-leash, as they were just steps from their door. Michels said she even offered some reassurance to the stranger. 

“I said, ‘they’re totally harmless, they’re not going to ever hurt you,'” Michels said.

According to Michels, things escalated dramatically after the dogs barked. 

“They just barked. They weren’t attacking but they just barked,” she said. “Then he turns around starts firing shots.” 

Michels added that the man said nothing before opening fire.  

The shots reverberated throughout the neighborhood. The rounds heard, WGN News was told, by children at the school across the street, several other residents, and Michel’s husband, Todd, who was inside their house. 

“I ran down. She was holding my one dog who had four gunshots and the other one had two but we couldn’t find her,” Todd Michels said.  

“Oakie was bleeding everywhere,” an emotional Jacqui Korvas Michels recalled.

Michels’ neighbor, Leslie Balaz, rushed over to help.  

“I ran outside, told her to keep the wound covered and stay there. Then a neighbor came out and I said, ‘get some towels to wrap up this dog to get into the SUV to go to the vet,” Balaz said.

“I took him to Animal Medical Center of Chicago on Diversey. They took great care of him,” Todd Michel said.  

From there, Oakie was transported to MedVet Chicago on North California Avenue and has since had two surgeries. Sadly, the family quickly realized that Oakie’s best buddy didn’t survive.”

“I came back and found Squishy and they said no, she’s not alive,” Todd Michels said.

The Michels family is now putting all their energy into Oakie’s recovery and ensuring the dog is comfortable. But the couple and their neighbors remain nervous that the person who pulled the trigger is still armed and living next door.  

“I’ve talked to a ton of people, like, ‘What if I look at this guy wrong?” Todd Michels said. “Is he going to shoot me or my dog if he barks?”