GEORGETOWN, SC (WBTW) – A man shot his neighbor’s cat after thinking it was a raccoon, a police report says.
Deputies responded to the area of 161 Carnell Loop in the Georgetown area around 8:20 p.m. on April 9 in reference to animal cruelty, according to a report from the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office.
Upon arriving, deputies spoke with the caller’s husband, who reportedly said his wife, who is listed in the report as the victim, had already left to take the cat to the vet. He also reportedly told deputies the family was about to eat dinner when they heard a gunshot. They went outside and used a flashlight to look around from their porch and reportedly could see their cat laying in the neighbor’s yard not moving.
At this time, they reportedly saw the suspect, listed in the report as 61-year-old Randy Barnett, getting into his truck and leaving the home. The victim’s son then reportedly went and retrieved the cat, “at which time they confirmed that the cat appeared to have been shot.” The victim’s husband also reportedly stated that he didn’t see the neighbor with a gun and hadn’t had any problems like this in the past.
Deputies were able to make contact with the suspect by phone, according to the report. The suspect reportedly told deputies that he had had a problem with raccoons and opossums getting into his garage and under his house at night. He reportedly said that he was leaving to meet his daughter when he saw a dark shadow he believed to be a raccoon. The suspect then reportedly got his rifle and allegedly shot at the animal before leaving the residence. The suspect reportedly stated to deputies that he didn’t know it was a cat because he only saw the shadow of the animal.
The report said a warrant affidavit would be filled out for animal cruelty to be submitted to a judge for consideration.
According to Georgetown County Detention Center booking records, Barnett was booked around 1:25 p.m. on Monday and was released around 4:24 p.m. the same day. His charge is listed as malicious injury to animals, personal property, value over $1,000 but less than $5,000. Bail was set at $2,100.