KANSAS CITY - A 19-year-old Kansas City man admitted he shot a pet deer in an east-side cemetery, but he wasn't aware the animal was tame.
The Jackson County prosecutor's office says a state conservation agent ticketed Phoenix Vankirk for taking a deer out of season, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
Vankirk said on Aug. 3 he was on his front porch grilling when he saw the deer in Elmwood cemetery. He grabbed his .45 caliber handgun, jumped the cemetery fence and shot the deer when it got close.
Vankirk said he took his car to retrieve the dead deer, but the cemetery gate was locked and he had no way to get to it. He was going to feed the carcass to his girlfriend and 8-month old child.
The deer, known as Ella to the local community, was born at the cemetery in 2011. Vankirk apologized to the community and the Elmwood Cemetery officials during his investigation.
Vankirk lawfully owned the handgun.