A Northern Colorado man is alleged to have gone on a neighborhood shooting spree, killing his neighbors' cattle in early April.

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office arrested Michael Hester for investigation of the act.

On April 1, neighbors called law enforcement to report that Hester had been driving an ATV around the Buckhorn Road neighborhood in Masonville and shooting at their livestock.

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Deputies found seven dead cows in the area and a wounded eighth that had to be euthanized, according to a Larimer County Sheriff's Office press release. The cows belonged to two neighbors.

The loss totals $30,000, the release stated.

One cattle owner, fourth-generation rancher Jordan Yarber, told 9News that four of the cows killed were pregnant.

Charges filed against the suspect include:

  • Nine counts of aggravated animal cruelty.
  • Eight counts of theft of certain animals.
  • Second-degree criminal trespass.
  • Shooting across a public highway.

Colorado has an "open range law" that allows livestock owners to let animals graze without containment.

Yarber told 9News that the alleged shooter had just moved to the neighborhood west of Loveland/Fort Collins in July, and he had not received a call or complaints from him about free-ranging cattle.

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