Man Fires Shotgun After Officer Tries to Help Emu: Officials | NBC Southern California
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Man Fires Shotgun After Officer Tries to Help Emu: Officials

The emu belongs to a neighbor, and ran away after the encounter, officials say

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    San Diego County Animal Services
    An emu is seen Monday, June 20, 2016, the day it ran from its home. A gunshot was fired when a man saw an officer on his property trying to help the emu, leading to his arrest, officials say.

    A man was arrested on Monday evening in Campo, California, after discharging a shotgun when an animal control officer responded to an emu in distress outside his home, sheriff’s officials said.

    Sean Michael Shepherd, 31, was taken into custody on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

    He was being held on $30,000 bail on Tuesday evening. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

    Sheriff’s deputies said the bizarre situation surfaced about 6 p.m. Monday in the 28000 block of State Route 94. An animal control officer on patrol spotted an injured emu. As he approached the animal, a man came out of his home and exchanged heated words with the officer, deputies said.

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    The emu doesn't belong to the suspect, but is his neighbor's animal, officials said.

    That’s when the man went inside and returned with a shotgun, firing it into the air, deputies said.

    No one was hurt. The emu ran away and disappeared, according to authorities.

    The animal’s feathers were apparently burnt. While it wasn't clear what caused the emu's injuries, the incident happened in the area of the Border Fire, which has spanned 7,500 acres near Potrero and caused some injuries to animals.