MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia police officer will not be disciplined after a video emerged of him shooting a possum on a residential street because the animal was injured, a spokesman said Thursday.
A resident reported that the possum had been hit by a car Wednesday evening and an officer arrived to find it severely hurt, said Morgantown Police Department spokesman Andrew Stacy.
A video of the incident posted on social media shows the officer using a long piece of wood to move the animal onto a grassy area before shooting it from a distance with a handgun, which drew criticism from Twitter users. Stacy said the officer was putting the possum out of its misery.
“You see the video without any context behind it and say, ‘What is going on?’ but the reality is that he was trying to help the animal and not have it suffer anymore,” he said.