Officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow were taken in to custody Friday morning and are out on bond.



The district attorney says these are potential "high fines and charges." Sentences could be anywhere from probation to 8 years in prison.

The officers are now on "unpaid" administrative leave.

An affidavit in the case indicates the shooting of the elk may have been planned and not put down because it appeared injured, as claimed by the officer.

According to the affidavit, Carter asked Curnow "Should I go hunting?" at 4:14 a.m. on Jan. 1.


Boulder's police chief apologized in early January to residents after an elk was shot on New Year's Day by an on-duty officer who failed to report the incident.

"One thing I want to do too, is apologize on behalf of the Boulder Police Department for all of the pain that we have caused. We are truly sorry for that," Chief Mark Beckner told roughly 50 neighbors and concerned residents who showed up to speak with him.

After the press conference on Friday, Beckner released a statement which read, in part:

"We realize that this case has hit a sensitive nerve in the Boulder community, and I want to reassure our community that I understand their concerns and that I intend to hold these officers accountable for their actions."


On the evening of Jan 1, Beckner told the audience that on-duty officer Sam Carter - captured in a photo with the elk - called off-duty officer Brent Curnow to help him after Carter shot the elk.

Carter has said the elk was aggressive and appeared injured. Neighbors say the "Mapleton Elk," named for the neighborhood the animal frequented, was friendly.

During the investigation, the body parts of the elk were submitted for a necropsy performed by Dr. Karen Fox. The results of the necropsy indicated there was "no significant damage to the leg bones and joints, nor degenerative anomalies to the joints that would case a significant limp."

Chief Beckner said Carter never filed a report that he had shot a gun on duty or that any of this had happened at all. Police weren't trying to cover it up, they simply didn't know right away that it had happened, according to Beckner.

"If this officer is found, to be in violation of laws, and violation of our rules, and gets charged and gets fired, that officer has not just hurt himself. Look at the damage that officer has already caused in the community," Beckner said.