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Boulder Police Chief Meets Residents Over Elk Shooting

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Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner (credit: CBS)

Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner (credit: CBS)

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Boulder’s police chief on Monday met with neighbors very upset by an officer’s actions after he shot and killed a bull elk last week.

There were about 75 people at Monday’s early afternoon meeting. Many people were outraged, saying the elk was stolen from them, and nearly all of them felt a crime had certainly been committed.

“I live at the corner of 8th and Mapleton, and I’ve actually known this particular animal for three years,” resident Leland Crow said. “I’ve probably seen him two dozen times, and I did see him on New Year’s Day just a little bit after twilight.”

Boulder Police Officer Sam Carter poses with the elk he shot with his service gun while on duty. (credit: CBS)

Boulder Police Officer Sam Carter poses with the elk he shot with his service gun while on duty. (credit: CBS)

Crow was one of the last people to see the elk alive. Officer Sam Carter was the absolute last after he killed the elk from close range with a department issued shotgun

“We believe it had a broken right front leg, it appeared to have some damage on the right side,” Police Chief Mark Beckner told the crowd at the meeting.

The department has also said in the days after the controversy arose that the elk had been aggressive. That’s something all residents have denied.

“The process of dealing with an aggravated animal, or a hurt animal, or discharging of a gun; none of them were followed,” Crow said. “It’s disappointing to have something like that to happen right where you live.”

An image from a candlelight vigil held for the elk Sunday evening (credit: CBS)

An image from a candlelight vigil held for the elk Sunday evening (credit: CBS)

RELATED: Candlelight Vigil Held For Elk Killed By Police Officer In Boulder

“Not knowing if it was truly injured or not, and if it was aggressive or not, and then, of course, the discharge of a firearm not being reported,” resident Brenda Love Bennett said.

“Obviously we’re concerned that there was no report of that discharge, no sergeant was notified,” Beckner said. “So, yeah, we need to look at making sure everybody understands what the expectations are, and if we need to we can tighten up those policies for sure.”

Many residents feel that not only should Carter be fired, but also face criminal charges.

Beckner told CBS4 he expects the Colorado Parks and Wildlife criminal investigation to be done by the end of the week. Parks and Wildlife officials told CBS4 that’s news to them and they have no timeline.

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