BYRON (AP) – A bull apparently killed a Northern California rancher and then was shot dead when it threatened first responders, authorities said.

The incident occurred Thursday afternoon in rural Contra Costa County, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

READ MORE: Rocklin Teacher Comes Under Fire For Years-OId Tweets With Derogatory, Racist Tone

A report of an unresponsive rancher lying in a field drew sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and an animal control officer to the scene, said Steve Aubert, a fire marshal public information officer with the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District.

“It is believed that the bull may have attacked the rancher,” Aubert said.

READ MORE: 11-Year-Old Loomis Boy Reunited With Stolen Dirt Bike; Deputies Track Down Suspect

The bull approached emergency personnel in a threatening manner and deputies shot it to protect them, Aubert said.

The county medical examiner will determine the cause of death of the rancher, whose identity was not released.

MORE NEWS: SCUSD's New Race And Equity Liaison Talk District's Move To Fire Teacher Who Used N-Word

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press.