MCSO mounted posse to search for evidence in shooting death of wild horse (Warning: Graphic image)

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File image of Salt River horses (Source: KPHO/KTVK) File image of Salt River horses (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
A dead Salt River horse was located in the area of the shooting On Saturday, Oct. 22. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) A dead Salt River horse was located in the area of the shooting On Saturday, Oct. 22. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is mobilizing his mounted posse to search for additional evidence in the shooting death of a wild horse.

According to the sheriff's office, witnesses described a person shooting at three horses in the Salt River area known as Pirates Island at about 6 p.m. on Friday.

Witnesses saw one of the horses in the river down in the water thrashing about and witnessed two other horses get hit with rounds from a rifle or shotgun.

The suspect followed after the horses as they fled.

The suspect is believed to be a male, wearing black shorts or underwear and a dark green shirt. Witnesses saw at least two other people with him at the time of the shooting, but there are no descriptions of them at this time. 

Deputies with the Lake Patrol Division responded to the call and scoured the area enlisting the help of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office aviation division. They searched the area for hours but were not able to locate anyone matching the description.

On Saturday, a young foal was found dead in the area of the shooting. Deputies said the mother was standing nearby when they arrived. The foal, about 7 to 10 months old, had gunshot wounds to the side of its neck and head.

The posse will be out at the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest as early as Tuesday to scour the area for evidence.

"This is a crime that goes beyond animal cruelty," Arpaio said. "Killing an innocent horse is as dangerous as it is disturbing. What else is this person capable of doing? We need to end this senseless slaughter of wild horses."

Arpaio said John Schill of the Schill Law Group is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in this case. Call 602-876-1681 with any information.

[gofundme: Reward to catch wild horse killer]

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