A hunter is likely to face charges after footage of him shooting a deer in a suburban California neighborhood sparked outrage on social media.
Monrovia residents Chuck and Robyn Tapert caught a bow hunter who was later identified as Mike Rodriguez on their home security camera shooting at a deer on their residential street on Thursday, Sept 14.
The video shows a man standing in the woods, lying in wait for a deer that can be seen grazing as it walks out of the woods. The man discharges his bow and a few seconds later, the deer runs down the street and out of sight of the camera. The deer died a few minutes later, CBS LA reports.
Rodriguez, who is a licensed hunter, said he shot the deer in a wooded area nearby where hunting is allowed, but that it got away after he injured it and he wanted to put it out of its misery.
“It moved at the exact time I fired my arrow so I didn’t hit in the kill zone. I hit it high in the back of the spine area,” he told CBS LA. “I didn’t want it to suffer any more than it had to because of my bad shot.”
The Taperts said they don’t believe his story. If the deer was already wounded, there would have been a trail of blood leading up to the area where the deer was seen on camera being shot. That wasn’t the case, they say.
“But there certainly was a lot of blood after,” Chuck told Fox 11.
For residents in this quiet neighborhood northeast of Los Angeles, the wildlife is part of what makes it so attractive. Not only were residents concerned about a hunter shooting arrows so close to their homes, but many were alarmed that someone would shoot the wildlife they so love.
“It was such a cheap shot,” Robyn Tapert told the Pasadena Star News. “It was such a tame and trusting deer.”
And this isn’t the first incident like this. Residents have become wary of hunters after a deer was seen in the neighborhood last year with an arrow through its neck.
“Nobody saw who did it, but how many archers are running around the foothills of Monrovia,” Robyn Tapert told Fox 11.
She’s not the only one who is outraged by the incident.
Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told the LA Times they’ve been inundated with calls from people who want to see the hunter brought to justice.
“We have people clamoring for us to move faster,” Foy told the paper. “They think we’re not taking this investigation seriously, but we are. We have to do our due diligence.”
Monrovia police Sgt. Sarah Covarrubias told the Star News that Rodriguez spoke to a deputy on Friday, one day after the incident, and that the department planned to file charges.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife is also planning to file charges.
“Suspect has been identified and evidence has been seized in the case. [We] will be filing the case with LA County District Attorney,” Andrew Hughan, a public information officer with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in an email to LAist on Monday.
Potential charges include hunting too close to homes and firing a weapon within city limits, both misdemeanor offenses, the Star News reported.