By John Shumway

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CHIPPEWA TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A daring deer caught shoppers by surprise Sunday afternoon at a Beaver County supermarket.

When Alycia Hoffman walked into the Aldi grocery store to get some cheese, she did a double take. Bambi was right there in the aisle in front of her doing some browsing.

“I thought it was really cute,” Hoffman says. “I was really excited and nobody pulled out their phones, so I pulled out my phone.”

As Alycia shot the video with her phone, the wayward deer wandered first one direction and then doubled back to an emergency door.

“It was like a button buck, so it was only a yearling,” Hoffman said.

When it got to the exit door, Alycia and two other customers tried to open the door for the deer, but the locking mechanism on the door wouldn’t budge.

With no way out the door and the gentle guidance of some customers, the deer wandered back up the main aisle of the store in no apparent hurry.

“You can’t really see it in the video, but it had just gotten hit by a car,” says Hoffman. “Its back leg was kind of bloody, so it went to [the front of the store] and laid down after I was done shooting. I think it was in shock. You couldn’t see that its mouth was a little bit bloody, but it was like, ‘This is where I’m going to end up’ so I think it was just really scared.”

Police arrived and helped get the deer outside onto the sidewalk.

“I stayed with it because I was so worried they were going to put it down because its leg was bloody,” says Hoffman. “It eventually stood up and some guy went inside and got some apples, and they were feeding it apples in the parking lot.”

Refreshed and calmed, the deer was coaxed to its feet by Chippewa Police Officer Jesse Richman who led it, almost like walking a dog, to the back of the shopping center and into some nearby woods.

“We found a deer trail and it wandered off on its own,” says Officer Richman.

Monday, the Aldi store was buzzing with people talking about the deer that came shopping. Lots of smiles and comments like, “I don’t think you get much fresher than that.”

“They’re in the rut maybe they’re looking for some other type of lettuce,” one customer said.

“They have great buys at Aldi’s,” another said.

And one gentleman wearing blaze orange said with a twinkle in his eye, “I’m trying to look for bargains and deer in the store.”

Alycia Hoffman’s video has topped 100,000 views and she says, “It’s cute. It is a little Christmas miracle. It’s so close to the holiday and there’s reindeer walking around Aldi’s.”

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