A cop has been fired for making and shooting a squirrel in a dramatic face off inside a Dollar General Store in Mountain City, northeast of Johnson City in Tennessee.
Police documents have revealed that officer Jody Putnam was inside the store two weeks ago when a squirrel managed to wander inside. Employees were the first to spot the squirrel, but when Putnam saw the situation he decided to intervene. However, the methods he used have now cost him his job in the police force.
Putnam reportedly used extreme and excessive force to address the squirrel situation, allegedly discharging his firearm and shooting at the squirrel while inside the store.
However, unloading his gun did not appear to work, and so he turned to another close up weapon at his disposal – pepper spray. He allegedly started chasing the terrified squirrel around the store trying to discharge the pepper spray into its eyes. But again the squirrel was too quick for Putnam and he eventually gave up.
The store's owner, Carl Duffield, was reportedly not impressed.
"Shooting back there, of course that should not have been, that should not have happened," he said. "Then they began to spray it with mace and pepper spray."
Putnam's pepper spray was discharged inside the store where there is restricted ventilation, and so others were reportedly affected by the spray.
"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," said Duffield. "But I'm sure they didn't feel that way, the customers that came out."
According to local police procedures, any cop who discharges a firearm must immediately report to a supervisor and fill in written paperwork. Something the officer did not carry out.
"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," said Mountain City Mayor Lawrence Keeble.
Putnam was dismissed on October 2, 2013 after 5 years at Mountain City Police.