Published: Sep 16, 2010 4:43 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 16, 2010 1:43 PM EDT

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A sheriff's deputy in Gainesville had to fire 17 shots to put down a deer hit by a car.

The Alachua sheriff's department says the deputy was

"horrified" by what happened Wednesday, and would be referred to a victim advocate.

The deputy didn't know where to shoot the animal, so he called a superior. The sergeant said to aim for the heart, behind the deer's shoulder. Instead, the deputy fired repeatedly into the stomach until the animal died.

The sheriff's department says the deputy did nothing wrong and won't be reprimanded. They now plan to train patrol staff to quickly kill a distressed animal that can't be saved, The Gainesville Sun reported.