BALTIMORE (WJZ)—West Baltimore looked a little like the Wild Wild West on Friday morning. A steer running through the streets of Baltimore catches the attention of drivers and police. This, after it escaped from a city slaughterhouse.

Gigi Barnett has the story.

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Scores of Baltimore drivers spotted an escaped steer running in the median of North Avenue.

“It was kind of just trotting along,” one witness said.

Minutes and miles later, it crossed the intersection of Charles and Preston Streets in Midtown Baltimore. City cops were on its trail.

“I heard about four gunshots. We hear someone yell out to the guards of ‘stupid animal,'” said Natalyia Eidelman, witness.

Bullet casings littered the ground. Witnesses whipped out cell phones.

“I wasn’t too certain on how the cow ended up in an unusual place, but it was certainly strange and interesting,” said Tyra Myricks, witness. “What made it even more strange is that the cow wasn’t even bothered by how busy the streets were or all the cars, which I’m sure was something very foreign to a farm animal, such as a cow. I would love to know more on how the cow got out of its environment.”

Myricks captured this video of the animal running on North Ave:

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Michael Furniere had a closer view.

“The cow stopped in the road, looked into the cop car. The cop drew his gun, and he fired three or four shots at the cow,” said Furniere, witness.

That did it.

“It started limping and it collapsed on its side. It was really sad,” Eidelman said.

The animal came from a slaughterhouse on Pennsylvania Avenue, which is several blocks from where it ended up. WJZ was able to reach the slaughterhouse owner, who did not want to go on camera. But he did say that he’s glad that no one was injured, and that police did what they had to do.

“That animal was not charging anyone. The animal was looking around in circles,” said Ellie Beziat, witness.

Now that the steer’s stroll is over, the question remains: was it too much force by police?

“I understand, yeah, it’s a large animal on the loose. But to fire like that with people around just seemed really negligent to me,” Furniere said.

The department says an investigation into the shooting of the steer is underway.

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