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.
â€œYou see the video without any context behind it and say, â€˜What is going on?â€™ but the reality is that he was trying to help the animal and not have it suffer anymore,â€ he said.