MERCER ISLAND, Wash. — Mercer Island police are investigating the shooting death of a small fawn in a wooded East Mercer Way neighborhood as a possible crime on several levels.
"This could be animal cruelty, violation of hunting laws, shooting a doe," said Commander Jeff Magnan. Our officers found this baby deer shot between the eyes," he said.
"We equate this to hurting a puppy or hurting a kitten," he said. "This isn't anything that doesn't shock the conscience of the individuals, of our citizens, or our officers too."
On Thursday morning, a homeowner in the 6600 block of East Mercer Way found the deer on the walkway near his front door and called 911. State Fish and Wildlife agents determined the fawn had been killed by a high-powered pellet gun.
For Nika Kinghoffer's family who lives near where the baby deer was found, seeing very young fawns is a very common sight in their wooded Mercer Island neighborhood.
"We see deer all the time, they eat our apples," she said.
But some Mercer Islanders used to living with deer have been on edge lately. Fish and Wildlife agents have been tracking a cougar spotted in neighborhoods very near where the fawn was found.
"When I heard about this I felt bad," said Klinghoffer. "But I also felt that it perhaps it was a case of mistaken identity."
Now, some are wondering if the reflection of the deer's eyes at night could possibly have been mistaken for the cougar--and shot by someone in fear of a stalking predator on their property.
"It would be nice if whoever did it came out and said 'This was me, and this is why I did it.''
Commander Magnan says he is hoping the truth will be known soon.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Mercer Island police non-emergency line at 206-275-761
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