Two horses dead, another critically injured after shooting in Thief River Falls

WRITTEN BY KEVIN BARNHAM
Grand Forks Herald

Poster re Pennington County horse murders.
Click to enlarge. Source image.

MINNESOTA — Authorities in the Thief River Falls region are seeking the public’s help in their investigation of the weekend shooting deaths of two horses and critical injury to another on a farm near the northwestern Minnesota community.

The incident occurred late Friday or early Saturday on the farm of Todd and Heidi Carlson, who live about one mile southeast of Thief River Falls Regional Airport.

The airport is about three miles south of Thief River Falls.

Pennington County Sheriff Ray Kuznia is asking anyone who heard gunshots or saw a suspicious vehicle in that area late Friday or early Saturday to contact the Pennington County Sheriff’s Department.

“It happened right near their residence. The house is right there,” he said. “They did not hear a thing.”

Kuznia said the family did leave home for a while Friday evening, he said. At the time, the horses were about 60 feet from the house.

“When they left, they noticed one horse was standing kind of funny,” he said. “When they came back, it wasn’t with them.”

The horses that died are: Lefty, a 9-year-old palomino registered quarterhorse, and Gypsy, a sorrel-colored foal born last April. Injured was Cash, an 8-year-old paint that was shot in the neck.

The two deceased horses were sent to North Dakota State University in Fargo for necropsies, or autopsies for horses, according to the sheriff.

Kuznia said the investigation is continuing, adding that it is unknown whether the incident is related to an October shooting in which a horse was killed near Black River Lutheran Church in western Pennington County.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office at (218) 681-6161.

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One thought on “Two horses dead, another critically injured after shooting in Thief River Falls”

  1. I can’t begin to imagine what would drive someone to do this. These horses belong to a family who loved and cared for them. What kills me the most is the fact that they will drive by their pastures and will not see them anymore. It’s a pain no one should ever have to bear. The shooter should be charged not only for injuring and killing the horses, but for scarring the family for life.

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