According to a Chesapeake police spokeswoman, an officer met with the employee at Cahoon Plantation, who presented a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The police spokeswoman, Kelly O'Sullivan, said the permit granted the course permission to shoot up to 30 geese. O'Sullivan said the shootings happened at 4:20 p.m. yesterday. She said police noted 11 dead geese.
O'Sullivan said officers believed the permit allowed the shootings in a residential area, but police also asked the city attorney to investigate.
A Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman said she would look into the conditions of the permit, but was not able to respond Thursday. However, the spokeswoman, Laury Marshall Parramore, sent a FAQ explaining the permit requirements for killing geese and other animals. One entry read: "...you must comply with local ordinances, such as discharging firearms."
Cahoon Plantation's property off Cedar Road winds past houses filled with basketball hoops and swingsets. A woman named Elizabeth Burton Foster told NewsChannel 3 the shootings happened within sight of children, including her son.
She wrote that a worker "used a shotgun to kill geese on the 18th fairway, in front of numerous children who were there playing golf or taking lessons." NewsChannel 3 responded to Foster's message, but we were unable to contact her. "I thought Cahoon was a family friendly golf course," she wrote. "I am mistaken."
NewsChannel 3 called Cahoon Plantation to ask whether the shootings would continue and what safety precautions the armed worker was taking. We were directed to the course superintendent, who did not return our call.