Officer shoots deer in front of Middleburg Heights church

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MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio- Middleburg Heights Mayor Gary Starr promises he will get answers after an injured deer was shot by one of the city’s police officers.

This happened on the front lawn of St. Bartholomew’s Church on Bagley Road.

The officer responded to the church after a young deer collapsed on the front lawn with an injured leg.

A woman and her daughter were comforting the deer when the officer arrived and ordered them to get away from the deer for their own safety. When they left and went into the building, the officer pulled his gun out and shot the deer once.

In a letter to the city, the woman said she and her daughter are traumatized by what happened.

Mayor Starr said he’s outraged.

“You’re a young girl, a 10-year-old girl said, ‘Mommy, what happens if I get hurt or if I get injured? Are they going to do the same thing they did to that deer that they did to me?’ And I find that to be heart wrenching.” Starr said.

He said the officer didn’t follow proper procedure by letting animal control handle the situation. He said the officer also did not turn on his body camera.

Many folks who live in the town told Fox 8 although they sympathize with the woman and her daughter, the animal appeared to be suffering and the officer did the right thing.

“As a parent, if there were children nearby if they were mine or somebody else’s even, you have to explain to them this animal is sick. It’s in pain, it’s hurting and the officer’s doing his job. He’s just trying to alleviate the pain,” Susan Covey of Middleburg Heights said.

Mayor Starr said he’s asked for a review of the incident by the safety director and the police chief, and hopes to have that finished by Friday.

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