Loyalhanna Twp. man, 15-year-old boy accused of shooting 4 bulls, killing 2
State police charged a 60-year-old Loyalhanna Township man and 15-year-old boy with shooting four bulls with a crossbow at a nearby farm over St. Patrick’s Day weekend and then attempting to cover up the incident.
Shaun D. Ross was arrested on charges of agricultural vandalism, ecoterrorism, aggravated cruelty to animals, criminal mischief, corruption of minors, criminal trespass and furnishing liquor to minors in connection with the shooting that occurred between 10 p.m. March 16 and 8 a.m. March 17.
“Two of the bulls … their injuries were so severe they had to be euthanized,” state police spokesman Stephen Limani said.
The deceased bulls were valued at $13,500, according to state police.
Limani said the teenager will be charged in juvenile court.
Two of the wounded bulls, which are used for breeding purposes, suffered serious injuries and received medical treatment. They remain under observation, troopers said.
According to Limani, Ross told the teen, who was visiting the day of the shooting, he didn’t have any food or money at his home, but he knew of a nearby farm where they could shoot the bulls “and get away with it easy.”
“Mr. Ross told the teen that shooting the bulls would make his father proud of him,” Limani said.
That evening, Ross attempted to provide the teen with a malt beverage, state police alleged. But according to state police, the youth told them he didn’t drink it because he feared Ross had put an unknown type of pill in it.
During the early morning hours, police said, the pair went to the farm, shot the bulls and then left.
“They waited a couple hours after the bulls were shot … waiting for them to bleed out and die. Then they returned on an all-terrain vehicle and 10-foot pulling sled to pull them out, but they discovered the bulls were not dead yet,” Limani said.
Limani said troopers were able to identify Ross with the help of the farm’s owner, Wade Weimer. Police said Weimer saw Ross at the property at 217 Robinson Road in northern Westmoreland County. Ross had returned to retrieve the pulling sled and a shirt he had left behind, according to police.
“(Ross) sort of implicated himself saying he didn’t do anything and had slept at his own place overnight,” Limani said.
“He also said the teen also was never on the property. The farmer didn’t know what Ross was talking about because he had not seen the injured bulls in the pen yet,” Limani said.
According to Limani, Ross was acting strange. Weimer was able to obtain Ross’ license plate number. He also saw a crossbow case in the backseat of Ross’ 1996 Buick Marquis sedan. Police said Weimer did not know Ross.
Weimer called state police once he discovered the injured bulls. Troopers retrieved the pulling sled, Ross’ shirt and portions of the arrows used in the shootings as evidence.
“Obviously, this is a very malicious, serious act,” Limani said.
Police said the Loyalhanna case is unrelated to a February incident where someone impaled an Angus cow with a piece of farm machinery and left it to die at a Hempfield farm. Limani said troopers are still seeking leads on the Hempfield incident.
Ross was released on unsecured bond pending a preliminary hearing April 14 before Washington Township District Judge Jason Buczak.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .