Police are searching for a man who angrily shot a Washington man and hit him with a car over a dead raccoon the man was dragging (video below).
It started on June 25, when the victim, whose name has not been released publicly, was walking along the road in Mason County, dragging the raccoon behind him with a rope, reports KCPQ.
Several people saw the man with the dead animal and assumed it to be a dog, so they called police to report it.
"I've been doing this for 21-plus years, and I've never quite heard the 'raccoon being dragged down the road' story before, so it's a new one for all of us," Mason County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Travis Adams told KOMO.
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The video shows the man walking by with the roadkill in tow. The person filming is shocked at the sight.
When officers arrived on scene, the man told them he had no money and found the dead critter, so he was going to use it as bait for his crab pot, according to KCPQ.
After determining that the man's actions were legal and not harmful, they left, but as he continued walking, he caught attention from other angry passersby.
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People in an SUV pulled over and got out to angrily confront him for what they thought was extreme animal abuse. During this conversation, one or more people in a pickup truck, who also mistakenly thought the man had a dog, jumped out and joined in, notes KOMO.
"He's aiming a gun ... at the guy dragging the raccoon," one person reported to 911 dispatch, according to KCPQ. "Now the guy's swinging the raccoon around."
The man shot the victim twice in the leg, reports KOMO.
The two groups of people then jumped back into their respective vehicles and fled the scene. As the pickup was speeding away, it struck the victim.
Police are trying to track down the shooter, but no one has been arrested yet. The individuals from the SUV are cooperating with officials.
"In my eyes, it's a form of vigilante kind of justice, and it's inappropriate and it's dangerous to the public," Mason County Sheriff's Office Detective Chris Liles said of the shooting, according to KCPQ. "It's a situation where the suspect kind of thought he could handle the law himself."
Area resident Jake Schley, who recorded the video, is raising money to help the man pay for his treatment.
"He is a free spirit and lives off the land," Schley said. "I am jealous of the life he lives, with not a care in the world and a smile on his face and love in his heart. He is truly a great person."
Sources: KCPQ, KOMO / Photo credit: Geoffrey Fairchild/Flickr, DiamondBack Truck Covers/Flickr, St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office/Wikimedia Commons