By Maria Medina

SAN JOSE (KPIX) — A San Jose community is in fear they’re living among someone who is hunting their cats and shooting them with a pellet gun after two cat owners reported their pets had been targeted in recent months.

“They’re clearly out looking for them,” Jennifer Ping said. “I wanted to believe it was some dumb kid who found a gun and did something stupid but, when you hear it happened over and over again, then you start to wonder what kind of weirdo’s living in your neighborhood.”

Ping and her husband, Mike, discovered their three-year-old cat Lucifer was shot in the back of the leg when he needed x-rays for a coyote attack in August.

Ping said she was shocked when the veterinarian told her she discovered the pellet behind Lucifer’s knee.

“It didn’t make sense at all and then she was like, ‘No, we found a pellet lodged behind his knee, it’s already healed but, it’s been a couple months at least, but he was shot,'” Ping recalled.

“He was running away because he was shot in the back,” Mike Ping added.

Jennifer Ping posted about the shooting and included pictures of Lucifer’s x-rays on the online community forum, Nextdoor.com, to warn her neighbors.

It prompted other cat owners in the area to keep their cats indoors for fear their pets would be next. Lucifer is no longer allowed to stay out at night.

This week another cat owner posted that his cat had been shot in the neck with a pellet gun. The poster remembered Ping’s post from August and was looking for her in hopes of tracking down the culprit.

Ping reached out to the man and has yet to hear back from him.

The couple believes the shooter lives among them and isn’t just passing through the area.

“You know, we walk the neighborhood every day when we go for our walks,” Mike said. “It’s somebody that we’re walking past their house.”

They say they’re not sure why anyone would want to harm a cat, especially one like Lucifer.

“Everybody loves him,” Ping said. “Kids in the neighborhood come by to see him.”

Lucifer has made a full recovery from the coyote attack and shooting. The condition of the cat from this week’s shooting is unknown.