H-NIPOMO

Apr 27, 2011 7:37 PM by Danielle Lerner

Students in Nipomo 'shocked and disgusted' by overnight turkey killings

Sheriff's deputies are searching for answers, and suspects, after nearly two dozen turkeys are slaughtered at a local high school.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime overnight near Nipomo High School's ag unit. Nineteen turkeys were killed, one is missing and two are at the veterinarian.

FFA students were raising the birds for the Santa Barbara County Fair in July.

Yellow crime scene tape now surrounds the poultry pen at Nipomo High School where nearly two dozen turkeys were found slaughtered Wednesday morning.

"That's surprising, I mean that's just horrible, I mean what kind of person would do that?" said Jacqueline Higa.

Higa and Melani Teixeira graduated from Nipomo High School last year. Both raised turkeys through the school's FFA and they say what happened is "sick and disgusting."

"I keep my turkeys at my house but at the school, I didn't think it would ever happen," said Higa.

"They were penned where they were supposed to be penned and they weren't harming anybody, I think that whoever did it should have a punishment," said Teixeira.

The turkeys were still pretty young and students were preparing to show them at the Santa Barbara County Fair in July. Some students tell KSBY news the turkeys were stabbed to death, but deputies will not confirm how the birds were killed because of their ongoing investigation.

"I've never seen anything like this before, not in our community," said Michelle Johnson, the principal of Nipomo High school.

Johnson is now busy meeting with parents and students, trying to ease the stress this shocking crime has caused.

"I think there's always shock and it's not something that you would ever expect to be happening, and you don't anticipate happening, so it's definitely a significant event on our campus," said Johnson.

Other students who do not keep their turkeys in the poultry pen are already stepping up to help. They are offering some of their turkeys to the students whose birds were killed.

At this point deputies do not believe competition from other schools is a factor in this incident. Anyone with information should contact the sheriff's department.

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