Missoula Man Allegedly Killed His Neighbor’s Cat With a Microwave

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On Tuesday, Missoula police officers went to apartments on East Broadway for a report of a noisy man in one of the apartments. This man was eventually identified as Shane Espinoza, 36. Lydia Arnold, police officer for public relations, explains.

“Officials responded to a noise complaint after callers contacted the 911 center because Espinoza was yelling loudly and making all sorts of noises in the apartment complex all night,” said Arnold. “When the officers first answered, Espinoza had calmed down. When the officers contacted them, they saw no signs of intoxication or drug use. Espinoza stopped making noise and the rapporteur should not be a victim of administrative offenses. The officers left, but identified the man as Shane Espinoza. “

When an officer answered again, he knocked on Espinoza’s door and called his name.

“Espinoza opened the door with a knife in hand,” said Arnold. “The officers ordered Espinoza to drop the knife. Espinoza obeyed the officers. For the safety of Espinoza and the officers, Espinoza was handcuffed. When the officers contacted Espinoza, the officers observed blood splatters, blood on a cat and a small cat lying motionless on the floor. “

While the officers were talking to Espinoza about killing the cat, one of Espinoza’s neighbors came out of his apartment, visibly upset, and shouted, “Is that my cat?”

“The victim and owner of the cat reported to the police officer that he had left his home for a short time to move his car briefly so that he could not get a ticket,” said Arnold. “The victim closed his apartment door to keep the cat from coming out, but the door wasn’t locked. When the victim came back a few minutes later. The cat wasn’t in the apartment. The victim started asking and writing to neighbors if they saw the cat. The owner was looking for the cat when police officers spoke of a dead cat. The owner was able to describe the cat and confirm the possession of the cat. “


Court documents show the cat’s head was crushed and its skull collapsed on one side. There was a microwave on the floor next to the cat. Officers observed blood splatter on the microwave, and the side of the microwave was dented.

“Officials consulted a veterinary clinic and it was found that the cat was killed with blunt force,” Arnold said. “The officers continued their preliminary investigations, which included taking testimonies, reviewing videos and documenting on-site observations. The Missoula Police Department extends our deepest condolences to the victim and cat owners who have lost their pets in this way. ”

Espinoza is currently charged with serious animal cruelty and misconduct.

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