Salt River horses grazing in Tonto National Forest, near Mesa, Ariz., in August. Photo by Isaac Hale, The Arizona Republic

Salt River horses grazing in Tonto National Forest, near Mesa, Ariz., in August. Photo by Isaac Hale, The Arizona Republic

 

As published by The Arizona Republic

 

Authorities were searching for a man suspected of fatally shooting at least one horse in the Pirate Islands area of the Salt River in Tonto National Forest.

Witnesses told deputies they saw the gunman shoot three horses shortly before 6 p.m. Friday, and a foal was found dead Saturday in the area of the shooting, according to a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

The gunman was described as a male wearing black shorts and a dark green shirt, and witnesses said two other people were with him, the sheriff’s office said.

After responding to the initial call, deputies searched the area for hours but did not find the gunman, the sheriff’s office said.

A foal, about 7 to 10 months old, was found with apparent gunshot wounds to the head and neck Saturday. Two other horses were believed injured or dead, but they have not been found.

Anyone with information was asked to call the sheriff’s office at 602 876-1011 or 602-876-1681.