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Charges filed after horse shot during neighbor’s shooting practice in Custer

CUSTER, Wash. — Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies were dispatched about 5pm on Saturday, May 21st, to the 7000 block of Atwood Road after it was reported that a horse had been shot.

Deputies arrived and spoke with the horse’s owners. According to WCSO Spokesperson Deb Slater via email, “the owners said it was not uncommon for neighbors to shoot guns, but on this day, bullets were heard overhead, which was not normal.

Deputies made contact with a man on the property where the shots came from, and he admitted shooting a gun at targets. Slater said there was “little to no safe backstop in the direction of multiple houses.”

Tanner Fleck, age 29, of Ferndale, was issued a citation and has a court date scheduled in Whatcom District Court. According to the WCSO activity log, Fleck has been charged with reckless endangerment.

According to social media posts by the owners of the horse, the horse had been shot in the face and will require surgery to remove the bullet but otherwise was “acting like nothing happened.”


  1. Dennis May 23, 2022

    Hopefully any sentencing will include completion of a firearms safety class.

  2. John May 23, 2022

    Little to no backstop in the direction of multiple houses…. the disregard of rudimentary shooting safety is scary. He’s lucky that wasn’t a human.

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