(UPI) -- Jody Putnam, a former police officer in Mountain City, Tenn., was fired after a violent run-in with an agitated squirrel.
Putnam arrived at Mountain City's Dollar General when animal control was unavailable to respond to a call about a squirrel running amok in the store.
According to the city's Tomahawk newspaper, Putnam tried to subdue the rodent with pepper spray. When that didn't work, he pulled out his gun and shot the animal multiple times.
Property owner Carl Duffield offered a different version of the story, telling WJHL that Putnam fired his weapon multiple times inside the store.
"Shooting back there, of course that should not have been, that should not have happened," Duffield said. Then Putnam pulled out his can of pepper spray -- forcing customers out of the store.
"There was a lot of people that come out and just like me they came out and they were coughing and a hacking," Duffield said. "It was comical, but I'm sure they didn't feel that way -- the customers that came out."
Putnam refused to file a report about the incident and was fired for violating department policy.
"Through a violation of the police department policy Officer Jody Putnam's employment, as a Mountain City Police Officer, was terminated by the Board of Mayor and Alderman," said Mountain City Mayor Lawrence Keeble said in a statement.
The squirrel didn't survive the encounter.