Lafayette

Mar 30, 2011 11:33 PM by Maddie Garrett

Wildlife Officials Investigate Police Involved Bear Shooting

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is investigating a black bear shooting involving Carencro Police that happened last Tuesday.

"I honestly thought they were having a shoot out with another person because there was at least 10 to 15 shots fired," said Mary Brinkley, who lives in the neighborhood where the shooting took place.

Late Tuesday night a call came into Carencro Police complaining about a black bear in a neighborhood near Sonnier Street.

"It was definitely intense and the cars were moving back and forth, there were police on foot and there were guys in the car," said Brinkley.

Police responded and ended up shooting and wounding the bear. Neighbors think the bear was cornered near a fence behind Dynamic Tower Services. In all of the commotion two of the company's generators and a piece of equipment were damaged by gun fire.

KATC obtained the official necropsy report from the State Wildlife Veterinarian, and it shows the bear was shot five times by police with a .40 caliber handgun. Then Wildlife officials tracked the wounded animal for two days, finally finding it and putting it down on Thursday.

"I personally, I love animals and I just think there could have been 10 other ways in handling that situation," said Brinkley.

But other neighbors, such as Frank Widman who lives next door to Dynamic Tower Services, see it differently.

"If I felt the bear was a threat I wouldn't have any problem in doing what was necessary to save what I have," said Widman.

Mixed feelings about what happened, and only speculation since no one except the police officers who responded that night knows what happened.

"I think we could have upped the bar and did a little bit more for the bear, even just to find it and not kill it maybe," said Brinkley, as her husband added his view, "But I think the Carencro Police Department, they seem to be a good group of guys and I think they probably did what they thought was right at the time," he said.

Now an investigation is underway, and Wildlife officials said "it hasn't been determined yet if charges will be filed."

"I say if you were there and you saw what was going on you make the decision," voiced Widman.

Carencro Police Captain Ronnie Richard told KATC that Chief Dondi Hardin is out of town until next Monday, and the department was not authorized to comment on the incident at this time.

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