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Boulder Police Department Suspends 2 Officers Over Mapleton Elk Shooting

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BOULDER POLICE ELK SHOOTING
A bull Elk grazes October 8, 2012 in the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park. It was established in 1872. Yellowstone extends through Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The park's name is derived from the Yellowstone River, which runs through the park. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages) | Getty Images

The two Boulder police officers involved in the shooting of an elk on Mapleton Avenue late Tuesday were placed on paid administrative leave today pending a personnel investigation by the Boulder Police Department..

Meanwhile, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office has launched an internal investigation of its own to determine what role an on-duty sheriff's deputy played that night.

According to Boulder police, officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow have been placed on leave pending the investigation.

At 9:35 a.m., Beckner tweeted: "Two officers involved in Elk shooting incident have been placed on Admin Leave w/pay pending the outcome of investigations."

According to police, an officer on patrol near Mapleton Avenue and Ninth Street shot the elk with a shotgun Tuesday night after he said it appeared to be injured. An off-duty officer then arrived to haul away the elk and process it for meat.

The officer did not file a report or notify dispatchers about the incident.

A photo taken by a resident in the area shows Carter posing with the elk. Boulder police did not specify whether Carter or Curnow shot the animal, but did specify that the on-duty officer was the one who took the shot. Carter was on duty the night of the shooting and Curnow was not, according to police records.

Cmdr. Rick Brough with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office also said this morning that the deputy who reportedly helped load the elk into the truck also is being investigated by that department, but has not been placed on leave.

Brough said another deputy drove by the scene but does not appear to have been involved.

Both of the police officers also are under criminal investigation from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Samson's Law, passed in 1998 after a well-known bull elk in Estes Park was killed by a poacher who was fined just a few hundred dollars, adds substantial fines for the killing of trophy animals. The killing of a bull elk with six-point antlers or larger can carry a fine of up to $10,000, on top of the other criminal penalties for violating hunting rules.

In addition, hunting is never allowed within city limits. ___