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Two Colorado Officers Investigated in Death of Elk

Two Boulder police officers are under investigation in the the shooting death of an elk in a neighborhood on Jan. 1.

An on-duty officer was patrolling the Mapleton Hill area when he saw an elk he said was limping and decided that it needed to be humanely euthanized, according to a department news release.

The officer then shot the animal with a single shot from his shotgun and called a fellow officer who was off-duty to pick up the elk carcass.

The arriving officer took the elk away in his own vehicle with the intention to process the meat for personal use.

The Colorado Division of Parks and Wildfire is working to determine whether a crime was committed while the Boulder Police Department has launched an internal affairs investigation.

Police officials say it appears that the officers involved did not follow standard procedures in alerting police dispatch, contacting a supervisor about how to deal with the injured elk or following up with a written incident report.

The investigation could take several weeks to complete.

Police Chief Mark Beckner posted a message on his Twitter account that both officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigations.

KMGH-TV has identified the on-duty officer as Sam Carter and the off-duty officer as Brent Curnow.