NEWTOWN, Conn. (WTNH) – The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has concluded its investigation into the shooting of a black bear in Newtown in May.

On May 12, DEEP officers and Newtown police responded to the report of a homeowner shooting a black bear. The bear, commonly known as ‘Bobbi,’ died following the shooting.

According to DEEP, based on the facts of the investigation, the State’s Attorney’s Office has concluded there is insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against the homeowner, Lawrence Clarke, who was identified as a Ridgefield police officer.

News 8 obtained an incident reported from DEEP about the investigation. The incident report revealed that Clarke said around 8:30 a.m., he saw that his chicken coop had been knocked over and he was missing three chickens. Within the hour, he saw a large black bear at the coop. Clarke stated that the bear was circling his property for the next four hours.

Two days before the incident, Clarke saw the bear 15 feet away from the coop. The report states that Clarke got a pistol from inside his house and fired the faster pistol twice in an attempt to scare the bear. He contacted DEEP who told Clarke to purchase an electric fence.

On the day of the incident, Clarke, his son, and his 3-year-old grandson were outside when the bear was spotted approximately 30 feet from his grandson. Clarke stated that the bear was looking at his grandson and not the chicken coop. Clarke attempted to scare the bear away, but over the next hour, he reported that it kept returning.

According to documents, Clarke went into his house and got an AR-15, and shot the bear in the head. Court documents revealed that the bear was still alive, so Clarke shot the bear 7 or 8 more times until it died.

According to the Ridgefield Police Department, Clarke was off duty at the time of the incident.

DEEP said Clarke had numerous encounters with the same bear over multiple days that caused him to fear for the safety of himself, his family, and his livestock.

Two bear cubs were orphaned after the mother bear was shot. DEEP was able to tranquilize both cubs and they were brought to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

“Yeah, we never had a problem with number 217,” said Melissa Murphy, a neighbor.

According to DEEP, the bear’s behavior and frequent interactions with humans were considered a “habituated” and “food-conditioned” bear, meaning it had lost its fear of humans and learned to associate humans with food sources.

It is a crime to kill a bear in Connecticut. It is the State’s Attorney’s duty to determine if the person who killed the bear should be charged criminally.

In DEEP’s incident report, the officer stated that they believed Clarke killed the bear in defense of himself and his agricultural property.