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Stray bullet kills camel in Oregon animal rehab center

UPDATED: Mon., July 10, 2017

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. – A man who fired dozens of rounds from a rifle and wounded a former friend he was feuding with also shot and killed a camel at a nearby animal rehabilitation center in southwestern Oregon, officials and witnesses said.

Joseph Carl Sallman of Grants Pass opened fire on July 1 near a group of cabins where he lived south of Cave Junction, Oregon State Police officials and witnesses said.

Across the Redwood Highway is the Tiger Preservation Center, where Camille the camel had lived for two years. One of the rounds struck the one-humped dromedary above the eye, said Robert Ringo, who runs the center.

Ringo said five or six bullets came close to him and other employees.

“We all heard bullets coming through the trees, and we heard one ricochet off of metal,” he said. “We were trying to see where the shots were coming from.”

He later found the camel lying wounded in the hay. Due to the holiday weekend, Ringo said he was unable to have a veterinarian look at Camille.

The camel died two days later.

Another bullet struck John LaRue, a resident of a trailer near the cabins who told the Daily Courier that he and Sallman were friends who’d had a falling out over two pistols LaRue had taken from him.

LaRue said Sallman starting shooting as LaRue drove past him in his truck.

LaRue said that he was sore, but recovering from his wound, and that his service dog had also died in the shooting.

Sallman, 30, was arrested on July 4 in Selma and charged with attempted murder, two counts of unlawful use of a firearm and one count of menacing.

He has not entered a plea, and is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

Pete Smith, Sallman’s court-appointed attorney, confirmed to The Associated Press that Sallman and LaRue knew each other.

“They had had a physical altercation in a dispute over the ownership of some firearms,” Smith said.

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