You may have already heard of the drive-by shooting of an Amish horse that occurred this past Sunday in Lancaster County. More details have emerged as authorities try to find the perpetrator(s). From Lancaster Online:

 The Amish family included three children ages 12, 9 and 7, Weaver said.

They likely were returning home from a church-related gathering around 9 p.m. Sunday as their horse pulled them north in the 100 block of North Ronks Road.

About a mile from home, a car passed them from behind and they heard a “loud crack,” Weaver said.

“They believe it is a firecracker because that is something that happens to (people in buggies), unfortunately,” he said. “People do all kinds of things to the Amish — throw eggs and food at them, and apparently firecrackers.”

“The horse didn’t pull up, but continued going.”

Some people have asked if the family knew the horse was hurt and forced it to finish the trip home.

“That is not the case at all,” he said. “The family didn’t know it had been struck.”

None of the occupants of the buggy was injured, police said.

The unidentified car didn’t stop after the incident.

When the buggy reached the family’s farm, a member of the family took the harness off and discovered blood coming from the horse’s mouth, Weaver said.

A veterinarian was called, but the horse collapsed and died of a gunshot wound near its lungs before the vet arrived.

An examination of the animal revealed a bullet hole in the left chest.

Harrassment of Amish is nothing new, though this was no joke or prank.  East Lampeter Township officer Lt. Robin Weaver commented on the unusual nature of the attack:

Livestock are shot at occasionally, but Weaver couldn’t remember another case during his 30 years as a police officer in which a horse pulling a buggy was shot.

“It was extremely dangerous,” Weaver stressed. “The horse is very close to the carriage, and the area is in a residential area.

“Anything could have happened. The horse could have bolted. A bullet could have ricocheted and struck (the buggy’s occupants). It could have missed and gone into a house.”

“This showed extreme indifference to human life,” Weaver said.

Authorities have asked the public for assistance in finding the shooter.

Those with information can contact township police at 717-291-4676 or Lancaster City/County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-1913, or by anonymous text (text LANCS plus a message to 847411).