BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. -- A Browns Summit man is looking for answers after he found his 23-year-old horse shot to death in a creek in a rural part of a nearby property.
"I was just shocked and I really loved him a lot," John Wilson said. "He was a great horse."
Wilson's had Kabir, a gray Arabian, since the horse was a foal.
Guilford County animal control and sheriff's investigators visited the spot where Kabir was found Wednesday afternoon. They're working to confirm an official cause of death, but Wilson says someone shot his horse.
Horses, chickens, dogs, ducks, swans, goats and pigs. They're all part of Wilson's family on his farm. Now that family is dealing with a tragedy.
"Him and the other horses have been together for many, many years," Wilson said.
Wilson says Kabir went missing from his property on Old Reidsville Road sometime early Thursday morning. He believes Kabir got out of his pasture through a gap in the electric fence.
Wilson's friends and neighbors spent days looking for the horse. Wilson found him about a half-mile away on a neighbor's property.
"He was laying in a creek, a small creek, and he'd been shot," Wilson said.
Wilson took photos of Kabir's injuries. They show what appears to be a gunshot wound near his thigh and groin. By the way he describes what he saw, you'll know they're too graphic to post online.
"It was like a horror movie really," Wilson said. "Because before I found him, I had looked in that same general area most of the time, but where he was at, it was all grown up [with brush] around the creek area. The only way I really found him was the buzzards."
The loss has been extremely personal for this man.
"He's kind of like my kid," Wilson said.
While he's convinced someone shot his horse, what he doesn't know is why.
"To see him just laying out there like that, I just can't believe, I can't believe somebody would do that," Wilson said. "I can't believe somebody would actually shoot a horse."
Wilson says he found the horse near deer stands used for hunting. While white-tailed deer hunting season is underway for archery in Guilford County, the season for guns or black powder doesn't start until later this fall, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
"It might have been a mistake, but right now it looks to me like it was done on purpose," Wilson said.
He says it would be tough to mistake this 16-hand-high gray Arabian for a deer.
"If you can't, then obviously you don't need to be out there hunting, if you're a trigger happy deer hunter," Wilson said.
He's angry and grieving, and now he's pleading for someone to speak up if they know what happened to his horse.
"Whoever did it knows they did it, so they should come forward and set the record straight," Wilson said.
Wilson has already contacted the people who own the property where the horse was found. They're working with him and the sheriff's office to help figure out what happened to Kabir.