Man accused of shooting 2 horses in Chester Co.

by: Greg Suskin Updated:

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CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. - A Great Falls man told sheriff's deputies he shot two horses because he was trying to sell a gun to a friend and wanted to demonstrate the weapon.

Kendrick Culp, 24, was arrested Monday after an investigation by the Chester County Sheriff's Department and Animal Control.

Deputies said Culp was outside behind his McClinton Road house Sunday, showing a .22-caliber rifle to a friend who wanted to buy it from him.  The house borders a pasture, and through the wood line the two men could see two horses.

One was shot and killed, and the other hit three times.

"It's just pure meanness. Why would anybody ever do that?" said Robert Wishert, who owns the horses. Wishert said he heard gunfire Sunday and walked out into his pasture off Richburg Road with his daughter and 9-year-old grandson.  He wondered why his two horses, a mare named Sugar and a gelding named Handy, didn't come up to greet them.

"The horses wouldn't come out, and I went into the barn, and then I realized she'd been shot. It was pretty disturbing," he said.

Sugar had been shot three times in the neck.  Wishert said because her hide is tough in that area, she's expected to recover.  However, he and his daughter found Handy dead by a creek bank in the woods.  He'd been shot once near his heart.

"I can't say what I want to say on camera," said an angry Sheriff Richard Smith when Channel 9 interviewed him Tuesday. "There's not much you can say to make sense out of any of this."

Smith showed Channel 9 four different areas in Culp's back yard where deputies found .22 caliber shell casings. 

"It's just disgusting," Smith said.

Culp is charged with two counts of ill-treatment of animals.  He was still in jail Tuesday afternoon on a $7,500 bond.

Deputies are still looking for a second man -- the man they said Culp sold the rifle to.  It's not clear yet what charges he may face.

Wishert said his grandchildren were devastated by the shootings, and the death of one of the family's two horses.  He'd owned both of them for more than a decade.

"Lots of people in Great Falls would remember Sugar,” Wishert said. “I had to retire her, but my son used to take her to church events, birthday parties and vacation Bible school around here."

A Channel 9 news crew was able to walk right up to Sugar and pet her. She seemed completely docile, calm and unafraid.

“She's the best horse you're ever going to find," Wishert said."I hope they give him the maximum time in jail. It's just uncalled for."