Two officers with the Prince Rupert RCMP shot a deer multiple times after discovering it had an injury to its leg and “would suffer a long and painful death in the wild”. (photo courtesy of Melinda Sommerville)

Prince Rupert resident outraged by RCMP decision to shoot deer, multiple times, without warning

RCMP and BC Conservation Officer decided only humane decision was to put animal down

Prince Rupert resident Melinda Sommerville is outraged by the actions of the RCMP who used multiple shots to euthanize an injured deer in her back yard.

“I was in my room and I heard a gun shot go off and then I heard another gunshot go off and thought that was weird. So I went outside and there were two cops standing on the other side of my fence. There was a dead deer on the ground and they shot it another three times,” Sommerville said.

The regional conservation officer in Terrace requested the RCMP’s assistance in locating a deer that was reportedly injured. The RCMP found the deer with a broken leg in the backyard of Sommerville’s residence in the 1500-block of Omineca Ave.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert RCMP shoot and kill dog

Neither the RCMP nor the conservation officer know how the deer sustained the injury – however, it was decided that the only humane thing to do was to euthanize the deer.

“In this particular case, a shotgun with slugs was used. Circumstances in this particular case dictated that more than one shot was required,” said North District RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Madonna Saunderson.

Sommerville’s post of the incident garnered a lot of attention on Facebook claiming there were “seven shots fired” and “a whole clip unloaded.”

“We can confirm that this didn’t happen,” said Saunderson, disputing Sommerville’s account of the incident.

Sommerville was also angry that the RCMP did not inform her or her neighbours of their plans to put the deer down before the shots were fired.

“If any of those bullets ricocheted somebody might have been killed. They could have also told people to make sure their kids didn’t go outside to play,” she said. “My dog was playing in the backyard and he’s scared to go outside now.”

READ MORE: Prince Rupert RCMP struggle with retention of experienced officers


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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