Horse pulling Amish buggy shot from passing car

| 26 November 2013 10:30 am
An Amish family rides in a traditional Amish buggy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Photo: TheCadExpert/Wikipedia

An Amish family rides in a traditional Amish buggy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Photo: TheCadExpert/Wikipedia

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.


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Comments (54)

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  1. cheryl mendenhall says:

    This horrible story definitely made my day a lot sadder.

  2. Maverick says:

    What has the World come to that people would inflict pain and suffering to both these people and the innocent horse? The Amish are some of the kindest and most honest people you will ever meet…I am ashamed of what the World has become…

    • Rita Ross says:

      The Amish are one of the worst, if not the worst, owners of puppy mills. They are notorious for their puppy mills, which not many people know about.

      • Tammy bowser says:

        So true I go to Lancaster a lot and they sell lots of puppies ranging in prices of 700.00 to 800.00. I have pics to prove it, (puppy mills). I am not saying they all bad. But I feel some are doing things wrong,

      • Judy Johnson says:

        I do know about that but that doesn’t seem like a good reason to shoot a horse and also endanger the lives of the people.

      • Rachel G. says:

        What does that have to do with a carload of ijits shooting a horse?

      • Katarina Flynn says:

        That is still no reason to shoot this poor horse….whoever did it is obviously demented and I hope that they are caught and prosecuted…

      • blinkie says:

        that’s irrelevant…. stick to the story! If you can’t focus on the issue don’t leave a comment….

      • Upstate Deb says:

        What on earth do puppy mills have to do with this story? There are bad people in all segments of societies, Rita. Do NOT generalize about an entire population. Being Amish does not justify a drive-by shooting of a valuable part of their lifestyle and their main of transportation. Seriously, Rita, you should give thanks about how YOU choose to live YOUR life and stop criticizing others.

      • whateveBev says:

        Who said anything about a puppy mill? This article has nothing to do with a puppy mill.

    • Julia says:

      I am saddened to hear of such violence against anyone and an innocent animal. The Amish, however are NOT amongst the kindest people. I worked for quite some time in an Amish community so I know first hand. Perhaps you should do a bit of research on that.

      • Shelly says:

        I’m not in know way pointing at just you, Julia so please don’t take offense. Your post is just the one I happen to decide to chime in on……BUT Seriously…..
        How about we categorize people as people? Amish, English, Indian, black, white, red, etc? I know a WHOLE lot of people who are NOT amongst the kindest people. It depends on the PERSON. We should never categorize all for just a few. That would be like everyone from my small one cow town saying that ALL city people are gangsters, thugs and murders.
        NOW Having said that, I live in an Amish community. We intermingle through the town a lot. Do business with them. They are no different that you or I. They have the good seeds and bad seeds as we do. Just because there way of life and beliefs are different than ours doesn’t make them all bad. They respect our ways and beliefs as should we theirs. We have some VERY nice Amish in our community. Our farrier and his whole family are one of the most respected in the horse community and surrounding counties. They do have a few bad seeds but what group doesn’t?
        What happen to this families horse was nothing short of an idiot, maybe a few, looking to get their rocks off at someone elses expense. This, to them, would be the equivalent of someone driving by and shooting the motor in your car. But at the end of the day I’m sure they we more thankful that non of those precious babies got hit instead. I really hope they catch the jackass that did this and he rots in hell

        • Deborah Van Wormer says:

          Shelly, you said it very well. I have visited several Amish communities and worked with them helping my husband break some of their horses to drive. This is so sad and it doesn’t matter who was the recipient of this horrendous crime. Like you said there are both good and bad people in all communities. There are both good and bad people that profess to be Christians. I would live in the Amish community in a heart beat and it wouldn’t bother me one bit. The Amish people that I have dealt with here in Michigan do not have puppy mills. The Amish that I have been among are honest hard working men, women, and children and they have always treated me with respect and I give them the respect that they deserve. They are wonderful people that I am honored to call my friends.

        • whateveBev says:


    • Tricia says:

      Whether the Amish do right or wrong gives NO ONE else an excuse to MURDER an innocent horse. Don’t they have enough to deal with already???

      There were innocent children in that buggy

      People need to get a grip on their tempers and their guns.

      What’s next, shooting bicyclists who are on the road because they’re “in the way”???

  3. debbie catalina says:

    can’t help but wonder if they didn’t keep going to get the buggy back instead of sending someone for help on foot…those amish do a lot of really inhumane stuff

    • Laura Pawson says:

      I wondered the same thing. The Amish communities are puppy mill capitols and many of them regard animals in general as money makers and only beasts of burden, and certainly disposable. Most these horses are from off the racetrack bought cheap at auction. after they are broken down more, next stop slaughterhouse. Poor horse. These people are not saints as they want you to believe, sorry.

      • Eva Hughes says:

        What a bunch of know-nothing bigots on this thread.

        Long live the Amish folk – most of you aren’t fit to wipe their boots.

        • Deborah Van Wormer says:

          I agree Eva. The Amish look at life realistically. The ones that I know treat their animals well and if they are injured or lame thy treat them to get them better. Yes they do buy horses that are no longer able to race or aren’t fast enough to make it on the track but did anyone of you that are cutting these people down for doing it, stopped to realize that if they didn’t buy the horses from the track, that the people that were racing them would probably be sending them to the slaughter house themselves because they want to get rid of it. How come you aren’t saying bad things about us Englishers, as the Amish call those of us that aren’t Amish. The Amish are good hardworking people that take care of their own people. You don’t find any Amish on Welfare or getting public assistance, yet you feel qualified to cut them down and accuse them of things that you know nothing about.

    • vonny says:

      they had no idea the horse had been shot, and no they did nothing inhuman..

    • Julie D. says:

      Really debbie catalina???? THOSE Amish???? That’s like saying those black people or those white people or those Indians!!!!!! Just like you and me everyone is their own person. NEVER group people! I have Amish friends that take better care of their animals than some people take care of their so called pets and children. It wasn’t Amish that shot the horse. They didn’t even realize that the horse had been shot.

    • Cate says:

      Us “English” are known for far more inhumane activities than the Amish, so in the future you should think carefully before spouting off garbage.

  4. Rhiannon says:

    They shoupd of stopped and checked that horse. How can you Not see the car and they shoot the horse? I believe they knew he was shot.Pretty sad..

  5. shannon says:

    How about attempted murder???? What if they were aiming for passengers and instead shot the horse??? Wtf ppl.

  6. Pam says:

    Need to start educating in the schools – this is so senseless. What was the point to inflict such pain and suffering on this animal and the Amish occupants. Just to see something suffer – what dignity this poor animal had to get his occupants up the road another mile still before he died.

  7. bob clampitt says:

    the horses commitment and heart are so strong and to continue for another mile.horses are in my opinion better then most humans.

  8. Lynn Gennrich says:

    but the horse was shot the horse had made some sort of reaction I’m sure the horse but probably try to stop and I’m sure they use their buggy whip as I’ve seen evidence of the hard drive in the animals down the road I’ve seen their forces with holes in their knees lamer than lane I do not believe they did not know that horse was injured I think it was more importantly got to where they wanted to be not the welfare of there own horse shameful but the people who shot the horse and shameful that the horse was not taken care of and had to run head go down the road another mile fatally shot Shane shameful

    • Ryan says:

      Before you go on your rampage and your beliefs please use proper grammar and punctuation. Do you think that possibly the horse threw his head and the owners thought maybe he spooked from the “thought fire cracker”. This is unfortunate either way, just keep the negative comments against the family to yourself and just feel sorry for their lose.

      • Lori says:

        Ryan….before you start picking on people about their grammar and punctuation…better take a lesson yourself. You said “just feel sorry for their lose.” Should have been loss!

    • S Casey says:

      It’s perfectly possible that the horse tossed his or her head, an expected reaction to a common firecracker attack. This horse obviously had a strong will and went on because of the bond between him/her and the driver. People often accuse the Amish of abusing their horses because they work so often, but that horse means the world to his or her owner and family. The horse is the mean of transportation, the only way for life to go on. A human can only walk so far (and back) on two legs. They take spectacular care of their horses for the most part, but of course there are the good, the bad, the best and the worst in every group. The Amish are not at fault because they are different. They respect every else’s ways, why can we not respect theirs? By the way, please present yourself respectably in type if you expect to be taken seriously. While you’re at it, you may want to educate yourself on this group of people, and the strength of a horse’s love and will. A horse will go through severe pain for the human they love, and I’ve experienced it firsthand.

      • S Casey says:

        ** everyone else’s **

      • Deborah Van Wormer says:

        Casey, Thank you for a statement well said. The Amish are amazing people and horses will go above and beyond what most people think they will, for the person or family that they have bonded to.

  9. christopher smith says:

    keep the amish off the dam road! they are dangerous they wont get out of the way

    • thebarnrules says:

      Horse carriages have the right of way.

    • Deborah Van Wormer says:

      Christopher, that could have very well been an Englisher, which is a person that is not Amish, driving that buggy. Anyone riding a horse or driving a horse in a buggy, carriage, or cart has just as much right to be on the road as you do driving a vehicle. Just because they don’t stop and get off the road for you doesn’t make them dangerous. It is YOU who are dangerous on the road and don’t deserve to be on the road with anyone else. I have ridden a horse on the road and also driven a cart being pulled by a horse on the road and I have seen alot of idiotic people doing idiotic things on the road to people that are riding a horse or driving a horse on the road or for that matter even riding a bicycle.

  10. Georgie Bear says:

    This is a hate crime because whoever shot the horse doesn’t like the Amish. I hope they find out who did this.

  11. Hayden Lorraine says:

    People are throwing fire crackers at buggys & shooting the horses. This is disgusting. I hope they find the perpetrator. :(

  12. Amber Marie says:

    Wtf? Really.. How can you not know your horse was shot right in front of you? Are they deaf? You’d hear the god damn gunshot. Stupid ass people, and I’d enjoy shooting the people that killed the horse

    • Cate says:

      Really? How often have you had a firecracker thrown at you while riding in a buggy?

    • S Casey says:

      People who do not often handle arms (guns) would not be able to detect the sound off hand. I’ve shot off rifles before and sometimes I still can’t differentiate the sounds. Growing up in NYC, they are both common sounds. Please take into consideration that the Amish are not aggressive people. They most likely would not be weapon aficionados. They would assume the more common firecracker attack.

    • Deborah Van Wormer says:

      some gunshots, especially those from a 22 gun does sound alot like a firecracker and since it was late evening they wouldn’t have seen the gun. the only part of your statement that I agree with is the very last part about shooting the people that killed the horse

    • Upstate Deb says:

      Amber, that is such an ignorant statement. If you do have a firearm, you are FAR from a responsible gun owner!

  13. Sunni says:

    The world can be such a sad place… The pain inflicted on innocent animals hurts me to the core.I hope the ballistics test helps nail someone to the wall!!!

  14. Lori says:

    If the amish run puppy mills, I’m very sad about that…as I’m an animal lover. But that doesn’t excuse the person who shot the horse. I’m sure the horse “jerked” from being shot but if the people thought it was just a firecracker, they probably thought he just reacted to that noise. But they probably should have checked the horse out…but he/she probably would have still died in the end. And that’s what I’m most upset about! I love animals more than people!

  15. ReneeAnnette says:

    I grew up in the Holmes-Wayne Counties of Ohio, which has the largest Amish population in the world. I went to grade school with Amish, lived next door to Amish. The shear ignorance of comments on this sight amaze me. Amish are like anyone else, some take excellent care of their animals, others do not. Yes some have puppies mills, some love their dogs as children. What I can say is that I hope the idiot that shot the horse serves some hard time, shotting a gun on highway is a federal offense. This is the equivalent of blowing up your car. I might add that Amish parents spend time with their children, take responsibility for themselves and family, and never live on welfare or go on the government dole.

  16. elizabeth says:

    the amish live as they have always live and should be allowed to do so. the person that shot the horse
    doesnt surprise me, people shoot kids so why would a horse surprise us?

  17. Cate says:

    There are many types of flesh wounds which may not illicit acute pain or be debilitating at the onset, yet are fatal. I’ve seen horses impaled with large sticks yet not displaying discomfort- although it’s incredibly horrible to see such a thing. infection from a puncture can turn septic and be fatal. At a large animal emergency rescue seminar there were a few gory case studies of horses with unbelievable head and flesh wounds, yet the horses normal behavior was not impaired. I’m guessing the horse reacted to the initial impact and the caliber was small, and that poor animal died from internal bleeding and ultimately heart failure. I feel so badly for any person to lose an animal especially due to malicious acts of others. I surely hope the guilty people are found and dealt with severely.

  18. Cspeidy says:

    I believe this article is about a horse being shot not about puppy mills. While puppy mills are an issue in the US it’s not just the Amish. I’m not supporting them all and I do know from experience (living in the community) that they aren’t as humble of people as most people think they are. They are sinners, just like the rest of us.

  19. Mackenzie Sizemore says:

    This is one of the dumbest things I have seen. The idiots that did this need to be locked up for a long time and buy those people another horse not everybody can afford to buy a horse if you have a problem with amish people get over it and don’t take your hate towards an animal like a horse people get over your selves.

  20. McKenzie says:

    i cant believe people do this to horses. i just want to severely hurt anyone who abuses animals, especially horses. i couldn’t imagine the sorrow i would feel if that happened to my baby girl

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