5 cows killed in drive-by shooting on Port Charlotte farm

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Several cows were killed, crippled or stolen after gunshots rang out on a Charlotte County farm in mid-July.

The owners said the shooters pulled up on something like a swamp buggy and opened fire, similar to a drive-by shooting.

There are currently no leads on the shooters, and the owners are offering a $10,000 reward for each person tried and convicted of killing the cows.

Kim and Joe Lewis moved from Indiana to Charlotte County to live their retirement dream. A self-employed couple of 26 years, they raise cows as pets rather than growing them to become beef.

cows killed
Cows in a field. CREDIT: WINK News

The Lewis’ cows graze the day away, living a peaceful life. However, in the early morning hours of July 19, several of the peaceful cows were senselessly killed by a shooter or shooters.

“I woke up to gunshots. Several sounded like a machine gun. Actually, it was one after another, and so I got a shotgun, of course. Someone out and with a flashlight to check on the cows because I just put them in the front pasture,” said Kim. “I noticed them running, going in circles, some are falling down. Some are obviously injured, and I couldn’t shoot because I had the gun, but the cows were between me and the shooter, and I didn’t want to send them back to those people.”

Kim said she saw the shooter, and it’s possible the person with the gun saw her. Nevertheless, she went to the pasture anyway.

“They’re (the cows) like family to us, so I just was going to save them. Definitely, yeah, I just didn’t want to shoot at them, and you know, or towards them,” said Kim.

That morning, three cows died. Followed by another dead cow the next day. A fifth cow died recently from injuries. Also, one more cow may still need to be put down. All of these cows were potentially killed as a result of the shooter or shooters.

And the shooter or shooters are still out there.

“In my opinion, it’s just… they’re monsters. Anybody that can do that to these animals… Or just there’s something wrong with them,” said Kim.

Deputies believe the shooter or shooters responsible for killing the cows were on some buggy or ATV because of the tracks they discovered at the scene.

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