CHOCTAW — A series of at least six cow slayings in Choctaw appear to be connected and a national animal advocacy group is offering a reward to help find who did it.
Police in Choctaw said two separate incidents have left three adult cows and three calves dead of gunshot wounds.
The shootings also happened close together, on neighboring properties along NE 36th Street in Choctaw.
Nearly three months ago, on May 21, police said two cows were found dead. They had been shot in the head and chest.
Several weeks later, on July 13, a mother cow and three calves were found shot to death on a neighboring property.
A necropsy performed by a Shawnee veterinarian showed that a .22-caliber rifle fired the shots that killed the mother cow and her calves, which were Longhorns.
Choctaw Police Chief Conny Clay said the six head of cattle likely aren't the only victims of the shooter or shooters.
“In the same mile-section, an Oklahoma City police officer … his horse got shot,” Clay said. “And then, to my understanding, there's another horse that got shot pretty close to the same area.”
One of the horses had to be euthanized, police said, but it's not clear whether the other one survived the gunshot wound.
Clay said no shell casings have been found by investigators, indicating that the shooter or shooters may have fired the fatal shots from inside a vehicle.
“Could be,” the police chief said. “Could be.”
Clay said an investigation into the shootings is active but would not say whether authorities have identified or focused on a suspect in the case.
“Right now we can't comment on who we think it is or how old we think they are,” he said. “We're looking at all leads.”
Several Oklahoma County sheriff's office patrol cruisers were in the area of the shootings Monday afternoon, but it's not clear what they were doing. Clay would not say on the record why the sheriff's department was in the area.
Clay said “public safety is always a concern” in cases like this.
“We obviously don't know what's in this person's mind until we catch them,” he said.
The cow slayings have attracted the attention of the Humane Society of the United States, which is offering a $2,500 reward for information “leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for serial cow killings in Choctaw.”