A horse towing an Amish buggy carrying five people was fatally wounded in a shooting on Sunday evening.
The wounded horse continued for about a mile to a Pennsylvania farm before the occupants of the buggy noticed the animal bleeding from its mouth, with a gunshot wound to its chest.
The animal died before a veterinarian arrived.
The shooting occurred in Ronks, in southeastern Lancaster County. The horse and buggy were heading north in the 100 block of North Ronks Road around 9pm when the shooting occurred.
The buggy occupants, comprising two adults and three children, heard what sounded like a firecracker from a vehicle that passed them, also heading north.
They arrived at their destination about a mile away and discovered their horse was injured
The East Lampeter Township Police are investigating.
The department said in a press release that the buggy occupants did not get a good description of the vehicle.
They told police they had believed the noise they heard was a firecracker, and did not realize their horse had been injured.
“Sometimes people throw firecrackers at buggies,” police Lieutenant Robin Weaver told Lancaster Online. “That’s what they thought had happened.”
Police reportedly have hopes that a veterinarian can extract the bullet from the horse so investigators can obtain ballistics evidence.
Investigators have not indicated if they have any suspects, but say charges could range from animal cruelty to recklessly endangering the occupants of the buggy, none of whom was injured.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the East Lampeter Township Police Department on 717-291-4676.