By Matt McKinney

A wild yearling deer that wandered into a weedy lot in downtown Minneapolis on Sunday was shot and killed after a lengthy ordeal for police, witnesses and the deer itself.

Deemed a public safety threat, the animal was eventually shot four times over the course of 30 to 45 minutes as Minneapolis police tried to put it down. 

 It took a long time because the officers had to wait for the deer to settle down before they could safely take another shot, explained a Minneapolis police spokeswoman.

“You just can’t start using a rifle in city limits and pow pow pow. You have to be careful on city surroundings,” said Cyndi Barrington.
Lonnie Solberg, building manager at the Sexton Lofts, said he found the deer at about 3:30 p.m. in the vacant lot at Eighth Street South and Portland Avenue South that shares a city block with the Lofts building. The lot, ringed by a seven-foot-high security fence, is a thick carpet of tall weeds.

Solberg said he thought the police did everything they could to prevent killing the animal. The officers searched for a tranquilizer gun but couldn't get one quickly, he said. A police report on the incident shows the officers also contacted the Department of Natural Resources.

Concerned that the deer might jump into traffic, the police decided to kill it. Noah Johnson, who looked on from the 16th floor balcony of the nearby Skyscape apartments, said the deer "jumped up and started running around" when it was struck.

At one time, the injured deer  was running at the glass windows and sliding doors of the Sexton Lofts building, leavind droplets of blood in the courtyard.