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Ind. Officer Handed Gun To Civilian To Kill Deer

July 03, 2013  | 

A Richmond, Ind., man claims a police officer who responded to an accident involving a young deer handed his loaded gun to a civilian to euthanize the badly injured animal.

Richmond Police said this week an investigation is ongoing into the reported incident, which Jerry Anderson said took place Saturday in front of his home. Anderson said the officer arrived at the scene after a young woman struck the deer on Chester Boulevard. Anderson said the deer was injured badly, was suffering and needed to be shot. He said a small group of people had gathered at the scene.

Anderson said he had gone inside his home to retrieve his pistol to shoot the deer and was surprised to find someone else in the act of shooting the animal.

"I went inside to get my gun, and when I came out, my wife told me that (the officer) said he couldn't do it," Anderson said. "She said he had tears in his eyes, and he handed his gun to a stranger — his loaded gun."

Read the full Indianapolis Star story.

Comments (13)

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13

Chuck @ 7/4/2013 6:53 AM

Wow! The kind of individuals who are being accepted into the Law Enforcement Community nowadays is pretty scary.

J Edgar @ 7/4/2013 6:53 AM

I have witnessed many incidents over the years involving Peace Officers and animals. It is never easy and always filled with emotion. Not knowing the whole story, inside/outside city limits, better if a discharged weapon belonged to an officer, did he know the person he was letting use the firearm, etc., it is tough to make a call. A decision born of emotion? Most definitely. A poor choice of action? Possibly. Should he be persecuted? No. Will he do it again after this incident? Again, no. We're human and we learn and no one was harmed and the situation was resolved. Some people need a life of their own and quit trying to dictate how others should live.

Dick Jamieson @ 7/4/2013 8:50 AM

Would it be feasible to carry dart guns with euthenizing drug such as the ones used to put down dogs or cats? It would do the job, humanely, and be less horrifying to bystanders and less upsetting to the officer. Such devices are in routine use at racetracks to put down horses which are severely injured in races.

Crash @ 7/4/2013 12:12 PM

The problem with that will be accountability for the drugs. Those racetracks have vets or vet assistants who are licensed to administer those drugs.

RICHARD ISAACS @ 7/4/2013 7:01 PM


Sgt. Mike @ 7/4/2013 7:12 PM

I knew a trooper that did the same thing and was retained by her agency. She is now a P&P Supervisor.

May we live in interesting times.

bpd3733 @ 7/4/2013 9:02 PM

Must be a slow news day that this was even written about. Who cares? Stop wasting ink with this garbage.

Troop @ 7/5/2013 2:07 AM

Handing your weapon to a Stranger. I can't take it! I really can't believe the decisions that some very nieve and sadly trained officers make. I know I may sound cold hearted but this is a very very dangerous country and a very dangerous profession. We need to think about what we are doing and who we are hiring because I do not like hearing about and going to police funerals.

CrabbyRetiredDeputy @ 7/5/2013 1:48 PM

I live in this county ... And I am appalled that this even happened. I recall years ago, during my training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, we were told that an officer NEVER surrenders his weapon in ANY situation ... Including hostage situations.

The person the officer gave control of his weapon to was from Ohio ... The officer had no knowledge of this persons ability to handle weapons, nor of his mental stability. There was a crowd of bystanders and the possibility of injury was quite high.

Forget the deer ... Forget the fact that I sure wouldn't want this candy bar backing me up in a life or death situation ... The bottom line is he endangered the public and should be fired ... Period!

Trigger @ 7/8/2013 6:07 AM


D. Edward @ 7/9/2013 7:28 PM

This type of behavior is unacceptable for a peace officer to give his service weapon to a private individual to shoot an animal. A suspension pending a full investigation would be reasonable. Law enforcement officers must be able to insulate themselves mentally from the emotions that might come into play during the course of performing their duties, otherwise, a hesitation to take action as one is trained and disciplined to do so could have very dire consequences. Other officers and the people we serve and protect depend on our professionalism, training, and common sense to save lives and to react in a split second to a situation that may be full of emotional liabilities. If we are confronted by an armed criminal pointing a gun at us, we must be able to shoot regardless of if this armed criminal is an 80 year old lady or a 12 year old girl. To permit our emotions to influence our actions for just one second could make the difference between us going home at the end of the day, or being laid to rest the next day.

Old L T @ 7/27/2013 12:24 AM

One of the first regulations in the department book.......NEVER surrender your firearm (s) to anyone.

So the untrained officer compounds the situation by handing deadly physical force to someone even less familiar with firearms. In struggling to use that force, the weapon discharges in the wrong direction, possibly killing the officer.

This is not a situation of being humane. It is one of abjectly poor decision making, lack of standardized training, and inept departmental regulatory oversight. If not, then someone needs to be investigated, properly retraining, and set back some!

Ima Leprechaun @ 8/2/2013 7:17 AM

I have seen Officers resort to some unusual methods to put a deer down just so they didn't have to clean their gun but I have never heard of anyone too emotional to put a deer down. I was no hunter myself but I understood it was part of my job to put any animal out of it's misery. The deer always looked at you with those doe eyes just before you fired and I remember every single one of them I dispatched but I always did my duty. I watched a state trooper kill a deer with an axe one day because he didn't want to have to clean his gun. I was unable to get permission to shoot it for him since it was not in my jurisdiction but the axe was highly ineffective for killing a deer. He used the blunt end on the deers head not the blade to kill the deer. It took a considerable effort for the trooper to kill the deer but at least his gun was clean.

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