Three Cows Die After Tense 7-Hour Standoff With Police

Oct 12, 2014 at 3:45 PM ET

Chaos and tragedy came to the English town of Norwich this weekend when a security threat compelled local law enforcement to close off a highway and sent citizens running for cover during a tense seven-hour standoff with three cows. The police were ultimately forced to shoot and kill the “distressed” bovines “in interests of public safety,” according to the @NorfolkPolice Twitter account.

The harrowing details speak for themselves. “Police received reports from members of the public of a cow loose on the A140 Ipswich Road of Norwich, in the area of the Holiday Inn, at about 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 10,” a Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said. “A short while later, it was established that a further two cows were also free in the road.”

With no other options available, the police opened fire on the first cow, after which it reportedly became “very angry” and “particularly motivated.” The second and third cows also proved to be significant threats, which the police attempted to eliminate with a second volley from their snipers. Both cows were shot, with one dying on the scene and one escaping.

A big storm reportedly complicated the police response, forcing authorities to lock down a long stretch of road for several hours to maintain public safety. A local with little understanding of the tactical situation on the ground said the road closure was “a bit much for a cow.”

The third rouge cow was found dead the next day, having succumbed to its wounds.

While the cows no longer pose a threat to the population of Norwich, police are now investigating how they escaped in the first place. We’ll bring you more updates as this breaking story continues to develop.