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Boulder police apologize for shooting beloved elk

1:08 PM, Jan 8, 2013   |    comments
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BOULDER -- Boulder's police chief on Monday apologized to residents after an elk was shot on New Year's Day by an on-duty officer who failed to report the incident.

"One thing I want to do too, is apologize on behalf of the Boulder Police Department for all of the pain that we have caused. We are truly sorry for that," Chief Mark Beckner told roughly 50 neighbors and concerned residents who showed up to speak with him.

MORE: Colo. vigil honors elk shot dead by police officer

On the evening of Jan 1, Beckner told the audience that on-duty officer Sam Carter - captured in a photo with the elk - called off-duty officer Brent Curnow to help him after Carter shot the elk.

Carter has said the elk was aggressive and appeared injured. Neighbors say the "Mapleton Elk," named for the neighborhood the animal frequented, was friendly.

MORE: Community angry after officer shoots beloved elk

Chief Beckner said officer Sam Carter never filed a report that he had shot a gun on duty or that any of this had happened at all. Police weren't trying to cover it up, they simply didn't know right away that it had happened, according to Beckner.

Both of the officers are on paid administrative leave as separate investigations are ongoing.

"If this officer is found, to be in violation of laws, and violation of our rules, and gets charged and gets fired, that officer has not just hurt himself. Look at the damage that officer has already caused in the community," Beckner said.

The police chief said if the officers are in the wrong, they will be fired if the punishment fits the offense.

KUSA

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