Police officer fires rifle twice at deer in Ypsilanti neighborhood

Earlier this evening, at about 5:30, I heard two gunshots coming from the direction of Frog Island Park, and, as people do these days, I got on Facebook to ask what in the hell was happening, and whether or not my family was in any immediate danger. Within minutes, I received the above photo from a friend, accompanied by the following message.

…I was watching TV and heard what sounded like two loud gunshots outside. I went into my kitchen, and, at that moment, I saw a small deer running like the wind in my driveway, and then crossing the road. I went outside not long after and saw a police officer in the woods behind my house. I called out to him and asked if someone contacted them about the gunshots (before I noticed the rifle slung over his shoulder). He said “Uh, no – I was called out to put down an injured deer.” I angrily said, “Well, you missed. He just ran through here, and across the street”…

While I don’t necessarily have a problem with police officers putting down injured deer, this whole thing has me wondering under what circumstances officers are allowed to discharge their weapons downtown, in the vicinity of both people and pets… And, this, for what it’s worth, did take place in the vicinity of both people are pets… While I suppose it’s possible that this officer was aiming down the embankment, away from the homes surrounding him, and into the river, this took place within just yards of homes, and just across the street from the entrance to riverside Park, where my kids and I ride our bikes… Here’s a map of the area. The shots, as I understand it, were fired just behind the Huron Valley Art Company building, just off of West Cross, right before the bridge into Depot Town. [If I understand my local history correctly, the Huron Valley Art Company building was both Ypsilanti’s first City Hall and jail.]

Again, I’m not advocating that authorities do nothing when they’re informed of injured animals. As I understand it from others in the community, this deer had been running through town for a while, and was clearly in distress, likely due to an injury. [I’ve heard there were sightings of this deer, prior to the shooting, on both Garland Street and near the intersection of Maple and Prospect.] In instances like this, if someone doesn’t intervene, the deer, assuming they’ve been injured, are likely to die slow and painful deaths. And, in the process, it’s possible that these wounded animals could cause serious accidents to happen. With that said, though, one has to wonder what the official protocol is for the discharge of a weapon in such circumstances.

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  1. Posted June 10, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I forgot to mention it in the post, but people are always fly fishing at that point in the river.

  2. Lynne
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    I find this to be disturbing. Do I have to worry that my dog will get shot whenever I let her out into the backyard?

  3. Joh Galt
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    The police can do whatever they like, whenever they like, just like the good Lord intended.

  4. JM
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Lynne, everything is about you and your dog.

    I’m fine with the intent, but given how mediocre the average police officer is when it comes to marksmanship, maybe they should’ve reached to a specialist.

  5. Lynne
    Posted June 10, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    JM, I don’t think everything is about me and my dog. I do, however, think that concern about the safety of people and pets is completely appropriate in this situation.

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    And so Ypsi goes down the Stop the Shoot rabbit hole.
    Sounds to me like your police need some fire arms training.
    Didn’t one of your neighbors shoot a Groundhog in his backyard and eat it a while back? And that was cool. How is this different?
    I predict a whole lot of talk about neighborhood character, what kind of town are we, etc etc. Outsized concern will he expressed for the safety of children, domestic pets (check) and stoned people in parks. Queue the animal rights folk to oppose putting an animal out of its misery, because they care about animals. It’s the police, so people will question motives and assign all sorts of predatory and malicious intent plus malfeasance to this poor schmuck doing his shitty job for which he’s been poorly trained I know it’s shocking that police have firearms and use them to kill wounded animals. I bet they do so regularly. I predict protests. Because, if Ypsi has gone full Ann Arbor, they will act as though they have no issue of greater concern. The safer people are the more they fear for their safety. The first sign of gentrification is when the people whoo will protest gentrification move into a city. Then it’s the deer .
    I hear the discharge of firearms around my neighborhood regularly. Usually one shot from a rifle, probably killing a groundhog. I don’t worry about my safety or my dogs or my cats, because I live in a safe neighborhood. And I’m not afraid of guns or gun owners without cause. Even when I have lived in unsafe neighborhoods for others, I understood my own security.

    Police carry guns and euthanize wounded animals . Shocking news. What has become of Ypsi?

  7. iRobert
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    All police officers should be trained to kill a deer, or anything else, with their bare hands, and in absolute silence. Nobody should ever know anything happened. They should be like ninjas, roaming everywhere, but always completely out of sight.

  8. Posted June 11, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    For the third time, I’m not saying that it’s wrong for the police to put down wounded animals. I’m also not saying that what happened here was necessarily a danger to people and pets. What I am doing is asking is whether or not guidelines exist for the discharge of weapons within city limits. That seems to me to be a reasonable question to ask, Jean.

  9. Demetrius
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    @ Jean

    All Mark did is share some neighborhood news, and ask a few related questions.

    So far, it seem the only person who’s gone down the “rabbit hole” is you.

  10. John Brown
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I’m gonna say its totally wrong for police to police to violate the rules of safe firearms discharge in a densely populated space for the purely subjective reason of “putting down an injured animal”. Who’s to say its injury warrants all the associated liability risk and stress the Dept. and community takes on with firearms discharges? Guns easily become nothing more than a (bad) solution in search of a problem.

    Save it for the trumpsters insurrection. The deer are not the problem.

  11. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    If local laws were in place forbidding the officer from putting the deer out of its misery wouldn’t you want those laws ignored, in cases like this, anyway? I am not understanding your friends expressed anger. I don’t understand your reasons for subtly (in a round a bout way)questioning the officer. He is in a wooded part of Ypsi in daylight and probably shot against a steep bank to do a good thing for a suffering animal. What is the problem? Why would you want to kind of sort of cast shade on the officers act without evidence he did something irresponsible?

    If your intent, as a writer, was to communicate that you are in support of trying to put this animal out of its misery then it was not communicated very well here.

    Expert-level-passive-aggressive-waffling aside, what is your point? We should look into local laws about discharging weapons while a half dead Bambi suffers barely out of sight and alone,in the rocks, next to the railroad tracks?

  12. Kristin
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    You don’t want a hurt deer wandering, they get torn apart by coyotes. You can’t hug them into the other side, unfortunately, so it has to be a gun.

  13. Kristin
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    There is a law about discharging weapons within a certain distance of homes, it’s why people can’t hunt with firearms even on the more rural edges of Ypsi. I’m not sure if it pertains to the police trying to euthanize an injured animal.

  14. iRobert
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I’m just relieved that the officer didn’t shoot Mark, startled that he was being approached by a Sasquatch.

    I think we’re all avoiding the important question here. Was the cop white? What color was the deer?

  15. John Brown
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    “Injured animal” is subjective and on a continuum. In this case, if the cop couldn’t approach the deer to get an easy clean shot, it must not have been all that injured and he should have let it go. But hey a cop gets to play Hawkeye on the public dime. Bad call.

  16. iRobert
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Be patient, Mark. Jean is testing out her new robo-writer software. It still has a few bugs, but it’s saving her enough time that she might be able to go get a part time job.

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the recap JB.

    The easy to swallow waffle is just a vehicle for the intended flavor.

  18. Henry Jeansy
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    If this cop had wanted to open a McDonald’s franchise within city limits, though, WATCH OUT!

  19. Jcp2
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    “Outsized concern will he expressed for the safety of children, domestic pets (check) and stoned people in parks.“

    I hope that ***Liberian Weedlord420*** was in a safe place.

  20. iRobert
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Mark seems to be struggling in his studies. He frequently responds to Jean’s posts with expressions of doubt and disagreement. It’s hard to understand how he can read “the word” and not be picking up on the certainty with which it is written.

  21. iRobert
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The solution is simple. Officers should be issued silencers.

  22. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Yeah, cuz all the stoners go down to the park to smoke at dawn. The disdain for weeed and weeed smokers around here reflects poorly. What are you going to do when it is legalized and you have to deal with it everywhere all the time. You might even find yourself in a place where there are ACTUAL weeed plants right in front of you!

  23. Jean Henry
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    HW that’s exactly what happened in A2. This was a concern of a State prominent weed activist who tried to organize her open carry friends to protect the parks from deer sharpshooters. Which was just about the funniest stoner idea of what’s possible ever.

    I’m simply repeating what happened in A2 once concern for the deer is centered. I have no objection to this post except that it might set off a calvalcade of privileged and insulated liberal paranoia and righteousness. It also reflects a moderated dose of same, at least re guns. (I mean you can look that information up, but you chose to post it first on fb and then here, so you wanted some response (likely the outrage you suppress) not just information.

    If anyone cares to check Mark’s original FB page and the responses there, they will find I was not far off in my predictions.

    The ways in which Ypsi slides inexorably towards Ann Arbor level inanity are numerous. You guys might do it better. Less achievement obsessed, more Portlandia.

    Insulation from multiple perspectives makes people dumb. Education doesn’t help. Ann Arbor is ample testimony to that.

  24. iRobert
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I get the feeling Mark is not adjusting well to Jean’s ownership of this blog. He seems bitter about the peaceful succession of power here. Maybe we should have a formal ceremony, so he can have closure.

  25. John Brown
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I thinking that a cop having a bad day being put in the unenviable position of deciding life or death for a wild critter is not a metaphor for the Arborification of Ypsi, or anything else. Simply, life and death decisions are complicated and when guns are involved it affects the surrounding community. The takeaway for me is to keep your euthanizing discreet – which I always do.

  26. iRobert
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I hope the police officers in and around Ypsilanti don’t read this blog and the comments here. If any do, I think they’d be much more likely to shoot people, accidentally or otherwise.

  27. facebook stalker
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Kurt Anschuetz from Facebook: Gary you are missing the point entirely. The deer obviously wasn’t laying in the woods dying a horrible death. It was mobile,. The point is that an officer fired rounds from a long rifle in a residential neighborhood. The bigger issue is that he missed twice. My guess is that bullet has a range of at least a few hundred yards. I’m not sure where this took place but there is a reason people can’t hunt in the city limits, it because the bullets can travel.

  28. Lynne
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I think we can predict that if there is a way to be an asshole about people’s fears and concerns, Jean Henry will find a way.

  29. maryd
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    It was never established that the deer was injured. And it was not at dawn around pot smokers. It is about shooting wildlife that lives nearby and strayed into a neighborhood full of people who walk, some with children, some with dogs. We have had deer in the hood before and it not a traffic problem as in other areas.

  30. Alex Hamlin
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    A few years ago I was getting off I-94 at Huron when an officer pumped two handgun shots into an injured deer on the off ramp right next to us. I had to explain that to my 9 year old at the time.

  31. Donald Shaw
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    No Jean, there won’t be any protests. There won’t be any protests because in a week we’ll be back to trying to decide which fucking trendy brewpub to go to, and voting for Maize as “Best Mexican Restaurant.”

  32. Interested Observer
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I’m in no way against euthanizing animals, even if it is only to thin an out of control urban population.

    But in the state of Michigan, you aren’t supposed to use anything other than a rifled slug shotgun south of M46/52 because the land is too flat & populated for rifle use. Shots from these guns travel a relatively short distance. Nor are you allowed to hunt any game within 150 yards of a populated building or area. And statistics show us your average police officer isn’t any better of a shot than your average hunter.

    There is a reason Ann Arbor payed trained marksmen to do the job. Safety and responsibility. So now maybe we could see a little of the city of Ypsilanti’s least favorite word, accountability, and get a more safe and responsible policy in place.

  33. Scott Trudeau
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    It’s fine to ask questions about guidelines for situations like this & whether the officer followed appropriate procedure but I don’t understand the fear and bother of the fact a firearm was used at all. As a child I had the displeasure of witnessing police euthanizing a badly injured deer very close to my neighbors’ homes. It’s unpleasant & a little shocking but also humane and pragmatic if done safely. I don’t feel like this was a traumatic experience as a kid and I don’t think I’d have a hard time discussing such a scenario with my own young child.

  34. Iron Lung 2
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    “The disdain for weeed and weeed smokers around here reflects poorly. What are you going to do when it is legalized and you have to deal with it everywhere all the time. ”

    Because “weeed” smokers need to be protected from ridicule at all costs.

    Phuuuuckkk dude, the deeeeer, look at the bullets, woahhhhh where’s my card dude, yo dank kush phuck Blues Traveler, mom don’t kick me out dank 420 indica

  35. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t shoot it unless it tried to eat my weeed plants haha! …Naw, I would just scare it off…Some deer in Michigan are infected with Chronic Wasting Disease. If that was the case they might not want to mention it unless they had to.

  36. iRobert
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Not to be confused with Wasted on Chronic Desease.

  37. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    You are just making yourself sound like a dick to everyone who smokes and a lot of people who don’t. No one I know acts anything like that. It’s like your spirit got stunted a long, long time ago and it grew slow and twisted and deformed. It’s kind of…grotesque.

  38. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    “Not to be confused with Wasted on Chronic Desease.”

    Nice one. You have a sense of humor I can appreciate, iRobert. Iron Lung is just a goony troll.

  39. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I am extreme in my views about recreational drug use. I hate recreational drug and alcohol use. I think our society even underestimates the destructivess of coffee! So I beleive I am in a comfortable position to confirm what HW says is true. That is even though I probably share some of the same extreme biases against recreational drug use (I probably even hold stronger views against drug use than IL) I still think HW is right when he says IL is making himself look like a total fucking joke with all of this “phuk 420 indaca” insult nonsense.

    Attack the arguments when you find yourself in disagreement. Is that so hard?

  40. M
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Some people think iRobert’s lengthy absences can be explained by imprisonment. No, I say. When he’s gone, he’s just working on his material, visiting lesser blogs on the circuit, and honing his material, making sure that it’s crisp enough for the big time. If history is any indicator, though, he shouldn’t be here long. No, my my calculation, he should be of ideas…. (looks at watch) …now.

  41. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I was like that until I was sixteen, Flakes. Haha! I differentiate between drugs and herbs/mushrooms/peyote/various other entheogens. Drugs have toxic side effects or create dependence, meaning you suffer if you don’t have it. I understand what you mean though about having a pure mind and body.

    Have you looked into the medical properties out of curiosity at all? Dr. Robert Melamede from Colorado State University has some good talks on utube. It is such a powerful healing plant. There is nothing else like it.

  42. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink


    No, I have not really looked into the medicinal properties of marijuana but I do beleive people that I have know when they have said marijuana has helped them with pain, appetite, and sleeping, etc….

    Maybe I should not have said “I hate drugs”. My position is that drugs are not good for me, and I have a strong tendency to not like to be around people who are not sober. However, it is none of my business if another person is choosing to use drugs to get through life. We all have different physical, emotional and spiritual makeups. It is each person’s own business to figure out “what works for them”. I might hope they proceed cautiously, but ultimately people are responsible for their own body and spirit and if someone thinks drugs and alcohol are enhancing their lives then that is their business.

    I beleive in the legalization of marijuana if that is what you are asking. I also would be open to experimenting with marijuana medically if I found myself in a position where I really needed some kind of medicine. Thankfully I am not in a position where I currently feel I need any medication besides maybe an ibuprofen once a month. That could easily change, however, and I would want the various options available to me legally. I would probably gravitate toward the least toxic and least addictive option, if I found myself in a position of need….

  43. Jean Henry
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    “I think we can predict that if there is a way to be an asshole about people’s fears and concerns, Jean Henry will find a way.“

    —In a Community that is increasingly precious and hyper sensitive to perceived insult—‘Trauma mining’ is what a young friend calls it— I’m ok with that, Lynne.

    The people I know who have suffered the most are tough as hell. And they have some damn dignity, because they need it to get through. As I said earlier, too often those with the most relative safety and security are the most easily convinced it’s threatened. People facing actual threat tend to be more pragmatic and realistic in their assessment of risk. Maybe they have more practice. This constant state of outrage among the most privileged citizens of the world is worthy of critique. Not least of which because it’s self-consumption actually tends to create shitty outcomes for those who most need support. The diversion of Community focus on the deer cull in A2 away from things like mental health support and affordable housing or the education/suspension gap is good example. They actually had a candlelight vigil in the Diag with signs that said ‘Deer lives matter.’

    Hysteria is a function of privilege. If my being an asshole causes anyone in Ypsi to pause before going full liberal panic, I’m cool with that.

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Ps I don’t understand the concern expressed here and in A2 about the impact on children of a safe deer cull in their vicinity. It’s certainly better than having a deer run in front of ones car. There are deer road kill all over our highways. Do these people not allow their children out of the house?

    I know a lot of people who grew up around animal slaughter and processing and mercy killings, including myself. None were traumatized by the exposure.

    But if I say I was, do I get a pass on being an asshole on the Internet?

  45. Eel
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Top image looks like a bigfoot sighting.

  46. iRobert
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Sure Eel, if Bigfoot was the one with the camera.

  47. Iron lung
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I think that insane clown posse are a terrible band.

  48. Iron lung
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    White male stoners are an oppressed people. We need to protect them from affirmative action and immigrants.

  49. Iron lung
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Deer are like giant rats. A nuisance.

  50. iRobert
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink


    Actually, the stuff I’ve been leaving here in the comments section over the past few days has just been the same lame material I did here years ago. I was just hoping enough time had passed that the audience here would be comprised entirely new folks. You can see EOS is sick of it. I think this might be the third or fourth time he’s had to endure my stupid attempts at humor. He’s clearly just sitting it out, waiting for me to move on again. I can’t say I blame him.

    I appreciate that your impression of me, as low as it is, is still a bit higher than the very sad reality. In response, I feel this awkward obligation to say “thank you.” To be honest, I probably would have been better off had I spent the last several years imprisoned as many had assumed. I might have been able to develop some new material, or at least had a few interesting stories to tell.

  51. Posted June 11, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Don’t be too hard on Iron Lung, Hyborian Warlord. He was human once. As was I. I know it sounds crazy now, but even Mark was.

    It was quite a few years back now. We were the fresh-faced new recruits here on markmaynard.com. We were young, hopeful, idealistic commenters, expecting to change the world. If my memory serves me, Iron Lung used to be a quite pleasant, friendly, supportive, optimistic, and even patient chap. I was still an obnoxious dick of course, even back then. But most of the other people here were actually quite pleasant. Boy, those were the days.

  52. Jean Henry
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink


  53. Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    We were like the fresh faced recruits at the beginning of Full Metal Jacket.

  54. stupid hick
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    A fascinating article that describes, step by step, Fred Rogers’ method for refining clear, positive, constructive messages for a child audience. I think it probably applies to adult audiences too. I hope some of the regulars here will find it valuable.


  55. Jean Henry
    Posted June 11, 2018 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Stupid Hick has discovered the formative origins of the fragility olympics in contemporary American culture.

  56. stupid hick
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I feel like I should probably feel mildly insulted but I will have to ask a grown-up why. Well done, Jean.

  57. Sad
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    It’s OK Stupid.


  58. Jean Henry
    Posted June 12, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Stupid Hick—My point was that while children may be easily alarmed by some kinds of language, adults should have achieved a bit more sturdiness.
    While personal insults are a lazy form of engagement and not constructive, we now live in a culture where disagreement is considered personal insult. Indeed the use of certain words that are not personal insults at all can be perceived as such because they present disagreement. And that’s a problem for our democracy, because It’s a limitation on civil discourse.
    If an adult talks to me like a toddler, I take offense. It’s insulting. I prefer open, honest, respectful disagreement.

    I know you, iRobert and sad are just being clever most of the time. I’m sure I take all of this way too seriously. That wasn’t always the case. I guess instead of the constant sense of outrage many have in response to this political era, I’m just feeling overwhelming disappointment. And that comes out as critique of everyone and everything a lot of the time.

    I have lost much of my humor.

  59. Kurt Anschuetz
    Posted June 13, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    If you are still disturbed by the YPDs action perhaps you should attend this or a COPAC meeting. Both are meetings where the community gives input to the YPD.

    PUBLIC NOTICE: Police Advisory Commission: Organizational Meeting

    Thursday, June 28, 2018 7:00 p.m.

    The Ypsilanti Police Advisory Commission will hold an organizational meeting on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 1 S. Huron St., Ypsilanti, Michigan.


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