Gunman Fires More Than A Dozen Shots Into Pasture, Kills Horse

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa — An investigation is under way after a gunman killed a horse and wounded two others Sunday afternoon near Swisher. The man fired more than a dozen shots into a horse pasture around 2 p.m., Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said. There is no apparent reason for the shooting and at this time charges are still pending, but officials have identified and spoken with their primary suspect.

"It's really kind of a sad deal that somebody would shoot somebody's horses for no reason," Pulkrabek, who declined to release the name of the suspect, said.

Two surviving horses had gunshot wounds to the head, breast, flank and legs. They will likely be taken to a vet for specialized care later this week, but are expected to recover. A third horse lay dead Monday morning behind a tree.

"I don't know what this guy had in mind, come out here and decide to open up on somebody's pets," said Todd Zach, a cousin of the owner and caregiver to the horses. "I don't know if he's watching too many video games at home or just wants to kill somebody's pets, I don't know."

A fourth horse was not wounded, but will have to travel with the surviving pair to the vet in order to maintain its mental health, Zach said. The horses have lived together for several years in the pasture.

"I just don't know what to say, there's no explanation for this," said Zach.

Pulkrabek said this is the first time he can recall a random act of violence resulting in the death of a horse.
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