Metro shoppers witness 2 deer die after jumping off Trader Joe’s roof

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two deer died Sunday night after jumping from above Trader Joe’s at Ward Parkway Shopping Center.

Witnesses described the area as the roof of the store, but a spokesman for the center said it was the catwalk above the store. According to Dave Claflin, marketing director for Legacy Development, someone came out a door where the deer were located and likely startled them.

Jessica Palan had just finished shopping and was inside her car when the incident happened around 5:00 p.m. Sunday

“They jumped over that ledge and then one just hit the ground real hard,” Palan said. “The second one comes over, and he kind of tipped over and landed on his back. They were just flaring around, but they couldn’t move, and it was just awful.”

The deer jumped over a 5-foot wall above the store and landed in the parking lot two stories below, according to Claflin. It’s unclear how they ended up on top of the store, but there is a driveway on the east side of Target that leads to the catwalk.

Palan said around 30 people were outside the store when the deer jumped.

“It was complete shock for everyone and no one moved,” Palan said. “I sat there for a good 8 minutes in my car, just couldn’t move and everybody else was just like that.”

Security guards closed off the area while they waited for animal control. No people were hurt, and there were no reports of property damage, but one the deer died and the other was later euthanized.

“No one could help them,” Palan said. “That was the worst thing because no one knows what to do in that situation. I mean, they’re wild animals.”

She said the “horrific” sight was different than seeing the animals on the side of the road after being hit by a vehicle.

“When you hit them in your car or something like that, usually they die right away or run away,” Palan said. “You don’t really see them in pain and to see an animal in pain is so much different than knowing an animal died.”

Claflin said they’ve never seen deer in that part of the shopping center before Sunday’s incident and that the property is grateful no one was hurt, adding that it “could’ve been a lot worse.”

Palan said she will never forget it.

“Every time I go by Trader Joe's, I will always remember those deer,” Palan said.