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Near miss! Local officer shoots at injured deer - bullet nearly hits man sleeping

Resident says bullet flew right over his head
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Posted at 4:49 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 09:38:00-04

OAK PARK (WXYZ) — One shot came through the wall, and the man inside says right over his head as he was sleeping early Wednesday morning on Ridgedale in Oak Park. Another shot went into the back window of a car in the driveway.

“It's crazy. I heard the gun shots but I didn’t know it was police," said neighbor John Turnbore. "I’d be scared as I don’t know what, man!”

It turns out, an Oak Park police officer fired four shots to put down a seriously injured deer along the front sidewalk.

Turnbore says it is not unusual to see deer and other wildlife in their neighborhood.

The homeowner declined to talk with 7 Action News on camera after contacting us about the incident because he was concerned police would not be up front about the case. He has also contacted Fieger Law to represent him in the case.

"The bullet hole is right above my headboard," said the homeowner who chose to remain anonymous. "We could have lost our lives here. I’m still in shock I haven’t been to sleep yet. It’s just a scary situation."

Oak Park Police Chief Steve Cooper fully discussed the incident and gave us police photos. He also personally visited the family to apologize and said he's glad no one was injured. Chief Cooper also visited the family to own the situation.

“(I) let them see my face. I am the chief here," he said. "The buck starts and stops with me.”

The chief adds that the city will pay for the damage.

Chief Cooper says it was appropriate for the officer to put down the deer with his service weapon even in the heavily populated neighborhood because it was bleeding from the mouth and had severe leg injuries, apparently after being hit by a car.

The chief says the house was either in the line of fire or bullets ricocheted. One shot broke off an antler on the deer. The chief says an internal investigation is underway.

Fieger Law tells 7 Action News the shooting is “intolerable and inappropriate,” and they are investigating a possible lawsuit.