STARKS, Maine — The man shot on his property on Halloween returned home on Monday afternoon.
Kerry Hebert, 56, twice underwent surgery on his chest at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after being shot last Wednesday.
“I’m pretty sore,” Hebert said in a telephone interview Monday evening.
Hebert is a licensed forester, the assessor and planning board chairman for the town of Starks and is a Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor.
He declined to provide many details about what happened that afternoon.
Somerset County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster said last week that the shooting was not accidental and not hunting-related, although hunters were involved.
Lancaster said Monday that the sheriff’s department’s investigation of the incident is continuing and no charges have been filed.
“We’re still investigating and still waiting for evidence to come back that we submitted to the lab,” said Lancaster, who added that forensic evidence may be returned by early December. “We’re trying to get a true picture of what transpired.”
Lancaster said Hebert was interviewed by police on Friday. Hebert said he will be interviewed again in the future.
“All parties involved have been extremely cooperative,” said Lancaster.
Hebert said Monday evening he didn’t want to release details that would compromise the police investigation. The only details he would provide were that he was shot with a .30-06-caliber rifle and that he had not seen the two men before that day.
The damage from the shot was extensive.
“It took out two ribs and a lot of muscle mass around those ribs,” said Hebert. “It did a lot of damage to one of my lungs. It’s quite likely to not recover.”
Hebert had to undergo two operations.
“Because I was shot at such close range, the blast of the rifle does a lot of additional damage,” he said. “They have to take out the dead tissue. [The damage] cannot always be accurately assessed in the first operation. They had to go back and do it again.”
Hebert said he has a portable vacuum device inserted into his wound that provides suction.
“The doctor was quite confident that the ribs will heal themselves very well,” said Hebert.
It may be six to 10 months before he recovers from the injury, he said.
Hebert became emotional when recalling the support he’s received from his friends and family.
“The family and friend support has been unbelievable,” he said, his voice cracking. “It means everything — everything.”
Hebert said 45 people came to his home on Sunday and cut and split his firewood and put it inside his house.
“It must’ve been around 10 cord of wood or so,” he said.
Hebert said he was especially thankful to his wife Jennifer’s parents, John and Joan, who came up from New York.
“How incredibly grateful I am to my wife’s parents, who dropped everything they were doing in New York and came up here to take care of my boys, who are 8 and 10, so that my wife could come down [to CMMC] every day,” said Hebert.