MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Maple Valley horse likely killed by another horse in same pen

Mar 4, 2024, 2:03 PM | Updated: Mar 6, 2024, 9:55 am

maple valley horse killed...

Buttercup, a horse in Maple Valley. (Photo courtesy of FOX 13's David Rose's X account)

(Photo courtesy of FOX 13's David Rose's X account)

A horse in Maple Valley, originally thought to be killed by a gunshot, likely died from a kick to her head by another horse in the same pen, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO).

It was earlier believed the horse was shot in the head — a crime scene eerily similar to another horse’s death late last year.

Doctors found no bullets in the horse

Veterinarian doctors at Pasado’s Safe Haven did a necropsy of the horse, witnessed by a commissioned deputy of KSCO, and found no bullets.

“An indentation/wound in the horse’s skull was found, which appeared to be caused by blunt force trauma,” wrote a news release from KSCO on Monday. “The shape of the indentation/wound was similar in the shape of a horse’s hoof.”

The horse, Buttercup, was the guide horse for her blind sister, Peanut, according to FOX 13’s David Rose. It appeared Buttercup was shot from the road on 276th Ave SE in Maple Valley.

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“The horse was killed overnight,” Eric White, public information officer with KCSO, confirmed via email on Feb. 28. “There currently are no suspects in this case. The case is currently under investigation.”

A horse was shot in front of a stable in Tacoma

In December of last year, another horse — LeMon — was shot in front of a stable reportedly below the eye in Tacoma. Law enforcement believed the shooting was at point-blank range, as the bullet broke several bones.

The suspect, a Snohomish man named Brandon Gerner, was arrested for the crime. He was charged with animal cruelty.

Gerner is also charged with first and second-degree murder earlier this month in the murders of 57-year-old Robert Riley and 34-year-old Ashley Williams.

Gerner said he shot and killed the LeMon as a “sacrifice” for his dead friend, Kody Olsen, according to court documents. Olsen was killed during a Pierce County deputy-involved shooting in December.

Court documents also stated Gerner and Olsen were involved in multiple white supremacist groups.

More on animals in WA: Bill toughening animal abuse punishments passes Washington House

There is no connection to the killings of the horses, according to law enforcement as of this reporting.

If anyone has additional information on the killing of Buttercup, call 911 or 1-800-222-TIPS.

This story was updated from its original publishing date of Feb. 28 at 6:34 a.m.

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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