“The rules are simple — there is no hunting in D.C.” says Washington Humane Society after man Shoots 14 Point Deer with a Handgun near the Palisades


File this under bonkers – Fox 5 reported last week:

“A West Virginia man is facing several charges after authorities say he shot a deer in Washington D.C. It happened close enough to the Palisades neighborhood in Northwest D.C., that neighbors heard the gunfire and called police to help.

The Washington Humane Society said the male deer had 14 points on his antlers and was estimated to weigh about 250 pounds.”

WTOP reported:

“Goyne used a handgun, according to the police report.

Goyne is being held without bond until his next court date scheduled for Oct. 12.”

51 Comment

  • Wait, the guy is being held without bond until October 12th for shooting a deer?!?!!?!? Something seems out of whack here.

    • Something seems out of whack? I agree. October 12th seems like a short amount of time.

      • HaileUnlikely

        On one hand I agree with this. On the other hand, that is sufficient time to rob somebody at gunpoint, get arrested, get released pending trial, and repeat 4 times.

      • People should not be behind bars for extended periods of time if they are not an active threat to other humans. What this guy allegedly did was stupid beyond words. But he shouldn’t be locked up for 2 weeks pending a hearing based on this alone. Perhaps there are other facts we don’t know about that necessitate keeping him until the hearing, but based on this alone, this is wrong.

        • Perhaps it was because of the unlawful possession of a firearm component… (I know, I know… in DC people are out the same day…)

    • Yes, also for firing off an illegal handgun in a residential neighborhood. I think that’s a good thing.

    • If I were to shoot my neighbor’s dog with a handgun and then club it with a stick how long should I be held?

      • He hasn’t been sentenced yet. Has he even been tried? Not saying he shouldn’t be punished, nor am I saying that that punishment shouldn’t include jail time, but this guy doesn’t seem like a threat to the public.

        • Someone shooting off a firearm in a non-life-threatening situation seems like a public threat to me.
          If you want to hunt deer, there are plenty of places where it is legal. Go there.

          • Agreed. Why did the guy have to come to DC from *West Virginia* to hunt? No. We don’t do that here. We’re in a city. And the poor deer….

          • Tsar of Truxton

            I would be willing to bet that he didn’t come to DC to hunt deer since he used a handgun. More likely, he was in DC and happened to see the large deer and decided to shoot it with a gun he kept in his car. Not that this changes the danger of discharging a gun or hunting in the city.

        • The guy is a poacher, and poachers usually are a threat because they use weapons to kill animals without regard to hunting rules, which if DC had hunting he would have violated in numerous ways.

        • Linc Park SE

          After being arrested – an individual is held in Central Booking until they have a hearing downtown. The Judge then makes a decision if the person should be incarcerated pending a hearing – i.e. flight risks, priors, or if the individual is high or displaying unusual behavior are all factors in if they are placed on a 3 or 5 day hold (or longer) pending a hearing or if the prosecutor needs time to gather evidence, etc. Many individuals are held pending an actual trial. Some get released, some continue with the legal process. Some people ARE eventually found innocent even though they might have been in the jail for months, but of course many are convicted. The convicted then have to wait several months to be sentenced. The Justice system is not perfect.

        • You’re kidding me, right? Anyone hunting anywhere within DC city limits is A GREAT THREAT to everyone. Armed with no sense of self-control and the mental capacity of a young child. Anyone older than, I’d say, 6 years old, could tell you shooting deer with a handgun within the city limits of the nation’s capital will likely result in you going straight to jail for a while. Learning not to shoot guns where you’re not supposed to is something even non gun owners learn at a very young age.

    • justinbc

      Should have had his 16 year old kid do it.

    • I assume he is considered a flight risk – not being from DC and discharging a weapon he wasn’t allowed to have.

    • He should have raped or murdered someone and he’d have been out a while ago.

    • Yet actual murderers of people are routinely let free or not even pursued seriously in DC.

      • Agree 110%. They arrest some ding dang doo and keep him in jail for 10 days for shooting a deeer yet the resident scumbags walk around free after doing drive-bys and everything else.


    • Ally

      Any way we can get our human-on-human violent criminals held without bond as well?

    • The cases is: 2016 CF2 015789: District of Columbia Vs. GOYNE, VERNON R

      The defendant was charged with “Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (Prior Conviction)” which is codified at § 22–4503. (Link: https://beta.code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/sections/22-4503.html ) It’s likely that the defendant’s prior conviction (which is a required element for this charge) is a 2009 drug conviction from WV. (See bottom right corner: http://mgm.stparchive.com/Archive/MGM/MGM10082009p001.php )

      While news reports state that the defendant could be charged with animal cruelty, he has only been charged with the unlawful possession of a firearm at this time. This could change when he is in front of the grand jury.

  • Definitely bonkers. If you are a hunter, you know you don’t just roll up on a deer in some other state and get to start shootin’. Among the long list of questions one should ask oneself: “Do I have a permit to hunt this deer?”

  • So, I have no issues whatsoever with holding this dumbass without bond until his next hearing, but why can’t we extend similar restrictions to people caught firing guns at people and/or committing violent robberies?

  • Are there no deer in west virginia

  • Jerry Grundle

    I’m guessing he probably figured that nobody would bat an eyelid, since reports of gunshots happen on a weekly if not daily basis in DC without anybody ever getting arrested for it.

  • To be fair, in West Virginia you are expected to slow down at the sight of a deer and begin firing at it.

  • This case has become a rallying call on the conservative/Pro-Trump blogosphere about “librul DC”
    I’m not joking. I have idiots on my FB who live in rural MD and VA complaining about government overreach and hunter’s right. Nevermind that this dude was firing away in a fairly populated suburb.

    • Because the conservatives are all about states’ rights and local control… until it comes to a jurisdiction deciding for itself to ban handguns. Or allowing transgender individuals to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identities.

  • BDF. Deer need predators. If you don’t want wolves, you have to put up with rednecks and guns. Or else have sick starving deer in your yards and wandering in front of your cars.
    It’s sick that this guy is locked up for two weeks for THIS when we can’t hold people who beat and rob our human neighbors.

    • IIRC, the National Park Service has used professional hunters in the past to thin the deer population.
      Random guy carrying a handgun and taking it upon himself to shoot a deer ≠ professional hunter operating under careful NPS supervision.

  • Does he at least get to keep the meat?

  • Ladies and gentlemen, can there be anyone tonight who is so blind as to say that the war is not on? Can there by anyone who fails to realize that the Cervine Menace has said the time is now? That this is the time for the show-down between the democratic Christian world and the deer that seek to do us harm? Unless we face this fact, we shall pay the price that must be paid by those who wait too long. As one of our outstanding historical figures once said, “When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be from enemies from without, but rather because of deer from within.” . . .

  • The gun was also unregistered in DC and he was wearing camouflage.

  • A Washington Post Story July 2016 reported that of 100 arrested granted pre-trial release 11 were arrested for an additional crime before trial, 2 of those were violent. I do not know the circumstances of this man’s behavior or his record in West Virginia. Before decrying the lock up without bail I would like more information. Re the release of arrested persons. Are there better ways to predict who among the 100 arrested is most likely to commit an additional crime? Would looking at past records be useful? Our law places the burden on the state to prove guilt. Police are not infallible and only in a police state would we lock up everyone arrested. Should we allow release only to those able to raise bail? What about white collar criminals? How often are they locked up before trial?

  • It makes me so sad that this magnificent creature was wounded and suffering and then had to be euthanized.

  • Where does it say the gun was illegal?

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