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Report: Ind. cop in "in tears" gave gun to civilian to kill deer

The officer allegedly handed over his service weapon in a crowd full of strangers, shocking bystanders

By PoliceOne Staff

RICHMOND, Ind. — A Richmond police officer is being investigated after a man reported an incident in which the cop allegedly handed his loaded service weapon to a civilian to kill a wounded deer after deciding he didn’t have the heart to do it.

Jerry Anderson told The Indy Star that he went into his home Saturday to retrieve his pistol after a young woman hit a deer with her car and the animal appeared to be in severe pain. When he came out of his home, he saw another man aiming at the deer and shooting it and his wife told him the officer couldn’t bring himself to do it.

“She said he had tears in his eyes, and he handed his gun to a stranger — his loaded gun. There were 10 to 12 people standing around, and there were two big guys there. One of them said they had a permit in Ohio, but they didn’t have it with them, and [the officer] gave his weapon to [the man] to shoot the deer. You should never hand your weapon to a person in a crowd.”

Tuesday Anderson met with Capt. Terry Hopkins to discuss the matter, according to the report.

“I don’t have a problem with the shooting — the fawn was hurt pretty badly and it needed to be done,” he said. “I just couldn’t believe that an officer who is supposed to protect people was crying and couldn’t do it and then he handed his loaded gun to a stranger to shoot the deer in front of a crowd of people.” 

Maj. Kevin Wampler told the paper that if the investigation proves the allegations to be true, the officer would be disciplined for violating department policy — but it is not a criminal violation. 

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