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Originally published May 28, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Page modified May 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

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Bullets hit horses in Skagit County; owner fears she could be next

Somebody has shot two horses on a Skagit County property, and sheriff’s deputies are investigating.


Skagit Valley Herald

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HAMILTON, Skagit County — Michelle Miner said she’s scared to leave her house. With increased frequency, bullets have been finding their way onto her property, even into her animals.

“I feel like I have to duck whenever I go outside,” Miner said.

In the span of about a month, two horses on Miner’s property have been hit and she has no idea where the shots are coming from.

“We’ve never had bullet holes in horses, ever,” she said. “And we’ve always had horses here, for at least 20 years.”

The first shooting was April 27, when a horse on the property in the 7000 block of Healy Road was grazed by a bullet that hit its rib cage.

Then on May 18, deputies responded to the property for a report of another horse that had been shot. This time, the bullet hit the horse’s skull.

“His whole forehead was split open,” Miner said. “I almost fainted.”

Both horses are recovering.

Now the bullets seem to be getting closer to Miner, and sheriff’s deputies are intensifying the investigation.

On Saturday, she reported that another bullet zoomed across her property and almost hit her.

Miner had just stopped the tractor, otherwise, she said, the bullet might have hit her in her torso. “It scared the living daylights out of me,” she said.

She doesn’t know if the shootings are an accident — the result of someone being irresponsible with a firearm — or intentional. But either way, she wants them to stop.

“I wish I could go outside without hyperventilating.”

She has reported the incidents to the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating, Chief Criminal Deputy Don McDermott said. “We’re obviously concerned,” McDermott said.

In the meantime, a friend of Miner’s, Wilma Tronstad, is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that might lead to an arrest.

“This is either random and somebody using very poor judgment on weapons or it’s personal,” Tronstad said. “Either way, it needs to stop.”

Tronstad said both shootings of the horses had the potential to be fatal.

In January, another horse on Northeast Cape Horn Road near Concrete, Skagit County, died after being shot in the head. It is unknown whether the incidents are connected, McDermott said.



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