LAVEEN, Ariz. - Two horses are being treated after they were shot Friday evening in Laveen, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office confirmed Monday.
Two men who were walking three horses told MCSO they heard shots while walking in the Salt River bed near Alta Vista Road and 79th Avenue.
They said they spotted a vehicle across the water and determined that the shooting was coming from there. They tried unsuccessfully to get the shooters to stop firing so they got on the horses and rode quickly up the embankment to safety.
Aaron Espinoza, one of the men with the horses, says he was startled by the loud noise. "Once I heard the impact of the bullet, my ears started ringing," he said.
The men checked out their horses once they were safe and, per MCSO, found one appeared to be shot just below the front left shoulder, a second was injured on the left rear leg below the hip and a third horse was not hit at all.
They called 911.
According to MCSO, when police responded, they heard gunshots and used a loud speaker to tell the shooters to stop firing.
Robert Garcia was also there and says it was even difficult for MCSO to get the group to stop firing.
“They were still shooting when the sheriffs got there," Garcia said. "When the sheriffs were talking, they were still shooting.”
Police documents show three people were seen walking back to the truck and sped through the river bed. MCSO called its helicopter to the area, but the suspects escaped.
MCSO has not released any description of the truck or the suspects. Deputies are still investigating.
Two of the horses are being treated by a veterinarian. None of the men were hurt.