BATES COUNTY, Mo. — Police made an arrest Wednesday in connection to two horses shot and killed in Amoret, Missouri.
On Wednesday morning, 55-year-old David Hugh Johnson was taken into custody in Garden City, Missouri, according to Bates County Sheriff Chad Anderson.
Johnson was charged with two counts of felony property damage for the intentional death of the two horses.
Wisdom owned both horses and said they were being boarded on property owned by his friend, Kirby Johnson, because it was the only place he could keep them. David is Kirby’s son.
Detectives are continuing to work with the Bates County Prosecutor’s Office to pursue additional charges related to weapons offenses and animal abuse, police said in a statement.
Anderson said detectives followed up on a tip they received two weeks ago that led them to Johnson.
FOX4’s Zac Summers spoke to the horses’ owner, Terry Wisdom, on Monday after the horses were found dead on Christmas Eve.
Wisdom said he raised Rusty, who was 30 years old, since he was just a colt. He said he also had Brownie, who was 9, for most of his life.
Wisdom said Johnson’s son broke the news to him that his horses had been shot.
Rusty was shot between the eyes, and Brownie was shot from the back of the head, according to Wisdom. They were inside a fenced area.
Wisdom said he will miss spending time with his horses and taking them into town for children to ride.
“Every kid in town would get a ride on them,” Wisdom said. “They could crawl underneath them, walk behind, just whatever. They were really good horses.”
He said he can’t understand why someone would kill harmless animals.
“These were like my kids,” said Wisdom. “I just want to know someone would do this. It’s senseless. If you have a grudge against a person, take it out on them not their animal.”
The Humane Society offered a $2,500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person who shot horses Rusty and Brownie in the head on Christmas Eve.
The horses’ owner Terry Wisdom and friends collected $500, and Max Muller — owner of Max Motors car dealership in Butler — after seeing the story on FOX4 chipped in an additional $2,500. That brought the total reward money to $5,500.