A Prunedale man and one of his goats were hit by shotgun pellets and his 89-year-old neighbor arrested on an attempted murder charge, the Sheriff's Office reported Wednesday.

The victim was hit twice in the ribs, once in the elbow and once in the back of a knee with shotgun pellets and was taken to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas for treatment, deputies said.

One of the man's goats was hit by a shotgun pellet in the shooting about 3 p.m. Tuesday in the 16000 block of Avery Lane.

The suspect, Phillip Dexter, and victim, Cesario Diaz, have neighboring addresses on Avery Lane.

Dexter was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, discharge of a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and animal cruelty, a Sheriff's Office press release said.

The weapon used was a Winchester 16-gauge shotgun, the release said.

A woman who answered the phone at Dexter's home declined comment.

Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Burns said Diaz was caring for goats next door when about five animals got on the neighbor's property.

"It was all related to the goats. He was trying to get the goats back," Burns said.

The shooting report came about three hours after the incident, and deputies talked to the victim at the hospital, he said.

Burns said the case is under investigation. He said it was unclear whether the men exchanged words. He didn't say how far apart the men were, but described it as "a little distance."

"As to the motive, I don't think it was to shoot at the gentleman who was hit," Burns said.


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But he said, "Any time one person shoots another it is pretty serious."

The goat hit by a shotgun pellet was doing fine, he said.