A Tennessee police officer was fired from the Mountain City Police Department earlier this month, after opening fire on a squirrel inside a crowded dollar store.
After property owner Carl Duffield failed to reach animal control, Officer Jody Putnam responded in an attempt to rid the Dollar General of its rouge rodent.
According to police records, Putnam entered the store and began firing at the squirrel, firing as many as three shots according to witnesses.
“Shooting back there, of course that should not have been, that should not have happened,” property owner Carl Duffield told WJHL TV.
After unsuccessful attempts at shooting the squirrel, Putnam then pulled out a canister of pepper spray and began wildly dousing the store, catching unsuspecting shoppers in the crossfire.
“There was a lot of people that come out and just like me they came out and they were coughing and a hacking it was comical, but I’m sure they didn’t feel that way, the customers that came out,” Duffield said.
According to witnesses who reentered the store, Officer Putnam was seen standing on the now dead squirrel.
Despite police policy requiring officers to immediately report all situations involving a discharged firearm, Putnam refused to inform Mountain City Police. A unanimous decision to fire Officer Putnam was made by the City Council.
“Through a violation of the police department policy Officer Jody Putnam’s employment, as a Mountain City Police Officer, was terminated by the Board of Mayor and Alderman,” Mountain City Mayor Lawrence Keeble said.
Dollar General has refused to release surveillance video of the incident.