VIDEO: Trooper Hands Police Shotgun To Citizen To Kill Wounded Deer

An Illinois state trooper handed his police shotgun to a citizen to kill a wounded deer in the road.

​Germantown Hills, IL - An Illinois state trooper has been disciplined for giving his service shotgun to a citizen to destroy a wounded deer on the highway after somebody caught his actions on video (video below).

On Saturday, an anonymous person posted a video of the incident on YouTube.

Illinois State Police (ISP) Captain Steven Riesenberg, the District 8 commander, declined to confirm the identity of the trooper.

The trooper in the video is a veteran of District 8, which includes Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall, and Stark counties, the Journal Star reported.

“An investigation was conducted and discipline was handed down,” Capt. Riesenberg said.

He declined to say how the trooper was disciplined, but said the trooper had no prior instances of discipline.

Capt. Riesenberg said he also “remediated the trooper on the shot placement to dispatch a deer. There’s a very specific spot.”

The incident occurred on or about Dec. 12, near the Pinecrest Drive exit on Interstate 74.

The video showed the uniformed trooper carrying a shotgun, and walking with a man in plain clothes along the median of the highway.

They walked up to a deer in the middle of the road, which appeared to have been hit by a car. The deer was still alive, and trying to pull itself up to get away.

The video showed the trooper handing his shotgun to the citizen, in full view of other stopped traffic.

Then both men stood in the travel lane, while the citizen raised the shotgun and killed the deer, and the state trooper stood behind him.

The deer’s head dropped to the ground, and the video showed the trooper immediately took back his shotgun before the video ended.

The video was initially shared with a Woodland County Sheriff's deputy, and eventually made its way to the attention of Capt. Riesenberg, according to Journal Star.

Police have not released the name of the person who took the video, or the name of the citizen who shot the deer.

Capt. Riesenberg declined to speak in detail about the video, but did briefly address the safety issues with regard to a trooper handing his weapon to a citizen.

“I understand your concern and I share that concern,” he said.

Capt. Riesenberg told the Journal Star that state laws do not address police officers’ responsibility for their service weapons, but that the ISP’s policies were clear.

“Policywise [for state police], that’s another story,” he said. “They [firearms] are to remain in the control and responsibility of the officer, to shoot the firearm ... We are 100 percent responsible for any firearm issued to us.”

You can see the video of the incident below:

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@DeafGuy , well it is just a difference of locality and mindset. Where I live we have an animal control dept. but we would never be so cruel as to sit there and wait for an animal control person to find their way to a MVA involving a deer when we are fully equipped and capable of doing it ourselves. But we don't chase loose dogs. That's why we have you.


I'm 67 yoa. Retired LEO some years past. I have not been raised in a populated area and have been taught and am able to take this unfortunate circumstance to something positive. I would have dispatched the animal with a projectile through the brain. After "lights out", the back straps are filets and tenderloins are steaks. The remaining meat, not spoiled by the impact, would be burger. "A country boy can survive." Those lost in the fact that humans are carnivores, because they buy meat from a supermarket on a plastic trey, are totally consumed with who should have dispatched the animal with what weapon with what authority. This LEO carrying a shield and not having the fortitude to finish off an animal suffering and obviously doomed, it not my first choice for backup on a hot call.


@lds719 This "misinformation" is coming from a guy who has been in the Animal Care field for just over 28 years. The police call Animal Control, whose job it IS, to quickly and humanely dispatch the wounded HBC (Hit-By-Car) and take it's remains off of the road to be disposed of. I know my business, because it IS my business. Sorry.


If the officer had a soft spot for the animal, like some are are saying, he should have dispatched it sooner rather than taking the time to offer his service weapon to a, most likely, civilian. Even if he’s not a hunter, he’s a trained police officer and should know when shooting anything you aim for and shoot at center of mass. With, even a basic, understanding of anatomy you know the lungs and heart are between the shoulders and therefore should be aware of the area you should aim at to quickly and humanely dispatch an animal. If you don’t have a basic understanding of anatomy and don’t know the optimal place to shoot to quickly and humanely dispatch an animal, everybody knows a head shot will quickly and humanely end the animals life. The main reason hunters don’t go for head shots is because they want to keep the antlers, at a minimum, and possibly the whole head to mount and display it. The officer could have used his sidearm to quickly dispatch the deer and would’ve ended the animals suffering quicker than the time it took to retrieve his shotgun and then hand it off to the guy that ended up dispatching it. I worked in West Texas where I had a few nighttime car/truck vs deer or elk MVA’s and had to dispatch a wounded animal a couple of times. I used my sidearm to shoot the animal in the head every time so I didn’t have to worry about trying to hit, and possibly missing, a small spot between the shoulders and potentially increasing the suffering of the animal because I wasn’t concerned with damaging the head and not being able to mount it on my wall. I never would have offered any of my service weapons to someone that wasn’t another officer I personally knew, and probably not unless I worked with them, because I was responsible for anything or anyone that is shot with my service weapon and you can never be too sure the civilian wouldn’t turn the weapon on you, or any innocent bystander for whatever reason. Additionally you don’t know how accurate or inaccurate a shooter the person is, which could result in an accidental shooting of a bystander. Hopefully the trooper learned from his mistake and subsequent punishment and will never hand off his service weapon to someone other than another on-duty officer and I hope he was taught where to aim/shoot to quickly and humanely dispatch an injured animal in the future.


@Cfeyhris my point is you still tried using someone being triggered when they said nothing about killing an animal. So I assumed you either don't know what triggered means, or you didn't read the comment or the article.