By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — His breakout from a slaughterhouse was the talk of the town. And later, his public death drew criticism. We’re now hearing from those who witnessed the steer’s wild run.

Rick Ritter has more on newly released 911 calls.

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Baltimore City Police just released the tapes. It’s safe to say callers couldn’t believe what they were seeing and the 911 operators couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

As if the video wasn’t enough, frantic 911 calls now describe it all.

Caller: “We got a wild steer out here down on Francis Street running around.”

911 Operator: “OK. You have a wild what?”

Caller: “A steer.”

911 Operator: “A steer?”

Caller: “Yeah. A bull running.”

That call came moments after a steer escaped a city slaughterhouse.

Caller: “This is an extreme emergency. I work at 2639 Pennsylvania Avenue. The slaughterhouse. We got a steer out on the street that’s alive and it’s on the street.”

Baltimore City Police released the calls for the very first time.

Caller: “I’m calling about a bull that’s running up and down the street.”

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911 Operator: “You’re saying an animal? B-U-L-L? Is that what you’re saying?”

Caller: “Yeah. The real B-U-L-L.”

They say dozens poured in just 15 minutes after the animal got away.

Caller: “This is crazy. It’s a huge bull. It actually almost hit my car. It tried to charge me.”

911 Operator: “Oh my God.”

Caller: “It’s a huge bull. I mean, it’s crazy.”

Baltimore drivers spotted the 780-pound steer running in the median of North Avenue.

“It was like kind of just trotting down the street,” said witness Michael Furnier.

Miles later, it crossed the intersection of Charles and Preston Streets in midtown Baltimore. That’s when city cops fired away, killing the animal and leaving the question of whether or not too much force was used.

“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 Furnier. “To fire like that with people around just seems really negligent to me.”

Police say the investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.

The slaughterhouse owner tells WJZ he’s glad that no one was injured and understands police did what they had to do.

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Rick Ritter