Police are investigating after a case of animal cruelty at a Laurel, Maryland, parking lot Saturday morning.
Someone bought a bag of popcorn at a Dollar Tree store and dumped it outside the Laurel Plaza Shopping Center, 9620 Fort Meade Road, between 9 and 10:30 a.m. — apparently to lure some of the seagulls that usually congregate there.
After some hungry birds descended onto the parking lot to eat that popcorn, they were run over by a car.
Police Cpl. Laura Wilson responded to the scene and found 10 birds dead. An 11th was badly injured and later died.
On Monday, the officer told reporters why it’s necessary to find who’s responsible.
“Studies have shown that there is a connection: People who harm animals could and sometimes do lead to harming humans in the future,” Wilson said.
Laurel police said they have no security footage of what happened, and they’re asking for the public’s help in finding those responsible.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“It takes a cruel, dangerous person to coax gulls over with the intention of violently killing them,” PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien said in a statement. “PETA is asking the public to help find whoever did this before this person harms or kills anyone else.”
Below is a map showing the location of the attack.
WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.