2018-09-17 / Front Page

Stray bullet kills horse near Brown City

By Phil Foley
810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com


Brown City’s Madison Anglebrandt with her horse, Zeus, at the Goodells Fair earlier this year, where they won a first-place competition ribbon. On Sept. 11 Zeus was accidently shot dead by a neighbor target practicing. Submitted photo. Brown City’s Madison Anglebrandt with her horse, Zeus, at the Goodells Fair earlier this year, where they won a first-place competition ribbon. On Sept. 11 Zeus was accidently shot dead by a neighbor target practicing. Submitted photo. BROWN CITY — Madison Anglebrandt, a senior at Brown City High School, was supposed to be competing this weekend at MIHA’s (Michigan Interscholastic Horse Association) District 14 Senior Meet at the Sanilac County Fairgrounds with her horse Zeus.

Instead the 17-yearold buried her 5-year-old quarter horse pinto paint on the family farm, about a mile east of Brown City, Wednesday (Sept. 12).

Madison and her mother, Melissa, an administrative aide with the Imlay City Police Dept., found Zeus dying from a single gunshot wound to the head about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 11) in the family’s round pen.

The pen is about 100 yards from the family home.

Zeus was one of eight horses on their 21-acre farm.

Melissa said Madison normally rides Zeus for a bit at dusk, but she came home from work, a little grumpy from fighting off a cold or allergies, and she asked her daughter to skip her usual evening ride.

She said when the two of them went out to the pen to feed Zeus grain and put him up for the night, they found him “on the ground, taking his last breath.”

A neighboring Amish farmer had apparently been out practicing with a new 450 Bushmaster for the upcoming deer season and a stray bullet struck Zeus in the head.

“I don’t believe there was any intent to do harm,” Melissa said. “We’re all farmers. We’re all hunters.”

She said the sound of gunfire is common in her area with farmers shooting coyotes and muskrats. “We’re out in farm country. People hunt geese and deer,” she said.

However, she added, while she was on the phone with 911 after finding her daughter’s horse, she heard five more shots and that rattled her.

Melissa described her neighbor as a “good man who runs a good farm.” But she also said Michigan law requires a backstop when target shooting.

The family has turned the matter over to the Sanilac County Sheriff’s Dept. and the DNR.

Sanilac County Sheriff’s Dept. Undersheriff Bradley Roff confirmed deputies have been to the Anglebrandt farm and are investigating the incident.

Zeus, said Melissa “was not a farm animal. He was not a pet.” She said her daughter got him two years ago as a freshly broken horse and trained him as a show horse.

Melissa said the pair won their “first blue ribbon in Dressage at the Goodells Fair in July.” And noting a horse can live 25 years, she said they had a good 10 to 15-year competition career ahead of them.

But she said, “Life made other decisions.”

However, she added, “I don’t want this to become a witch hunt.” She said it was an “unfortunate event,” adding her neighbor is “getting a very hard lesson.”

Following the shooting, Melissa wrote on social media,

“Many of you know, our home is pro Second Amendment; but as we go into what has always been my favorite time of year fall and hunting season. I beg of everyone that is a hunter to be aware of your surroundings. My daughter lost the horse love of her life due to carelessness last night.”

In March the St. Clair County Prosecutors Office charged a 21-yearold Riley Township man with careless discharge of a firearm resulting in death, a two-year felony, and with lying to a police officer, a oneyear misdemeanor after a 73-year-old neighbor died of a gunshot wound in her home while he was reportedly target shooting.

Last month the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. let a reserve deputy go after the Hadley Township man shot at some geese in a pond at his home and one of the bullets ricocheted through a neighbor’s kitchen wall.

Return to top

Copyright © 2011-2018 The Brown City Banner, All Rights Reserved

Click here for digital edition
2018-09-17 digital edition