3 cows shot, killed on property of state lawmaker

Dairy cows killed near Sturgis belonged to father of Rep. Aaron Miller

State Rep. Aaron Miller's family property located on 27000 block of Banker Street Road near Perrin Lake in Sturgis on Oct. 13, 2016.

SHERMAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Deputies are investigating after three cows belonging to a state lawmaker’s father were shot and killed in southwest Michigan.

The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department says the shooting happened in the 27000 block of Banker Street Road near Perrin Lake, north of Sturgis, sometime between Oct. 8 and Oct. 10. The motive behind the shooting is unclear, as is who was behind it.

Scott Miller told 24 Hour News 8 he noticed his dead dairy cows in the pasture early this week.

“All three were legs-up and stiff as could be,” he said.

Scott Miller's cows
Undated courtesy photos of Scott Miller’s cows that were shot and killed near Sturgis.

He didn’t initially realize what caused the deaths, figuring the cows had simply gotten sick. He began the process of moving the cows, named Luther, C.J. and Bernie.

“When I was taking the first cow and I was dragging Luther out, as I came by this spot, I noticed a set of tracks — left tire is here, right tire is about there — where it looks like somebody came off the road and pulled in here and then went back onto the road,” Miller showed 24 Hour News 8 Thursday, pointing to the tracks.

Then he noticed marks on the dead cows. He called in some friends who hunt to get a second opinion.

“They inspected the cows and determined that, yeah, it looks like a .22 entered these cows and killed them,” Miller said.

The pasture where the cows died is owned by his son, Republican state Rep. Aaron Miller of Sturgis.

Rep. Aaron Miller. (Courtesy Michigan House Republicans website)
Rep. Aaron Miller. (Courtesy Michigan House Republicans website)

Scott Miller said the family has no enemies.

“Not that we know of — not bad enough to do something like this,” he said.

The Millers are hoping it was just a random act of violence as they say goodbye to their three beloved cows, who are now buried in the woods near the property. They are working to file an insurance claim.

The sheriff’s department says that there haven’t been any other reports of livestock being shot in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s department at 269.467.9045 or Central Dispatch at 269.467.4195.