Pig slaughter stirs last day at school
Six-year-old Andre Carothers’ last day of kindergarten at Pear Park Elementary won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
That’s when “the man had a pig, and he shot it with a gun.”
“It was scary,” the boy said, walking home with his mother, Angela, after a shortened day of classes.
Carothers and other students were witnesses to the work of a hired butcher, who fired two shots from a .22-caliber rifle that silenced a pair of pigs just before noon Thursday at a neighboring property.
It also sent the school into a brief panic.
Pear Park Elementary Principal Cheri Taylor said about 50 kindergarten students were outside, waiting with teachers to be picked up by their parents, when shots rang out at 430 30 1/4 Road.
“It’s the first time we’ve heard shots from over there while school is in session,” Taylor said.
The property is situated about 30 yards from the school’s front doors and is separated by a chain-link fence.
Mesa County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Grand Junction police flooded the area at the same time a host of activities were happening outdoors and inside the school, including an end-of-semester awards assembly.
Authorities issued a lockdown for the school, which lasted roughly 35 minutes.
“They said a farmer was doing something to the animals but didn’t really specify … just a bit a weird,” said Amanda Ransier, who showed up to watch her son, Joseph, 7, pick
The farmer in question, Keith Scott of 430 30 1/4 Road, said the actual shooter was a man he’d hired to process the pigs for meat. He said the shooting happens “three or four” times each year.
“Just an unfortunate coincidence, I guess,” Scott said of the timing of the kill.
Scott and his wife, Laury, drove up to their home to find as many as 10 deputies and police officers working around the property.
“Most of the kids think it’s fascinating, but some are repulsed by it,” Scott said.
Administrators at Pear Park Elementary were not entertained.
“A lot of the kids are sad,” Taylor said.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, the shooting wasn’t criminal.
The gunman, who wasn’t identified by authorities, was briefly handcuffed and detained at the property before he was let go.
Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Heather Benjamin said deputies will send reports about the incident to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of charges.