Police Seek Tips in New York Horse Shooting

Police in Kirkland, New York, hope the public can help identify those responsible for a drive-by shooting that left a horse dead.

Kirkland Police Chief Daniel L. English said law enforcement personnel responded to a report of shots fired near a horse farm in Kirkland around noon on Dec. 29. When officers arrived a witness reported seeing a white man using a long gun to shoot into a pasture from inside a gray Dodge Avenger.

Later that afternoon, an owner called police to report that her show horse had been fatally shot in the neck.

“The bullet was so high-powered that it passed through the horse,” English said.

Two other horses located in the same paddock at the time of the shooting were unharmed, he said.

While snowfall prevented investigators from recovering any bullet casings from the pasture, English said his department has received many calls about seeing the vehicle allegedly involved in the incident.

“We have about 300 tips and we will run down every one,” English said. “We're also waiting for some chatter (about the incident) to be heard out there.”

English said his department is working with New York State Police to determine whether the incident is connected to another horse shooting that took place in December in nearby Herkimer County.

“Right now we can't say yes and we can't say no,” he said.

In any case, English said whoever is responsible for the Kirkland shooting could face charges of reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, and violation of state Agriculture and Market rules. Though the reckless endangerment count could be charged as a felony, the two other charges are misdemeanors, he said.

“There could be a number of charges for a number of crimes here, but most of these are misdemeanor charges,” English said. “The frustrating part is that this horse was near and dear to the owner's heart; it's difficult.”

While the investigation continues, a local group is offering a $1,000 cash reward to anyone who provides information leading the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for shooting.

Anyone with information about the incident should call the Kirkland Police Department at 315/853-5624. All calls will be confidential, English said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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