RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- A Randolph County family believes a stray bullet likely killed their horse on Sunday.
Topper died Sunday night in front of the Lassiter family's home on Highway 134 south of Asheboro.
"He was my buddy and it never failed--he'd see my truck coming in the driveway and he was running down here," said Michael Lassiter, owner of the prize-winning Topper.
Michael's wife, Carla, said she heard gunshots all day long and wouldn't let their daughter play outside because of it.
When Carla herself went outside to feed and get water to the horses, she heard Topper run over and collapse.
"I had no clue he had been shot, and when I got over here it was horrendous. It was terrible," Carla said.
Michael called emergency officials for help, but Topper died before they arrived on scene.
The Lassiters said they don't know who was firing the shots, but they want them to know what they did.
"You killed something that's precious to me and my family," Michael said. " For that kind of carelessness, it's not accepted. (My family) could've been killed. Either one of them could've been shot or killed."
Randolph County deputies are also trying to figure out who fired the shots. Anyone with information can call the Randolph County Sheriff's Office at (336) 318-6699 or Crimestoppers at 672-7463.