2 hunters pursuing same deer may have led to fatal shooting

Posted Nov. 20, 2012, at 6:51 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 22, 2012, at 7:26 a.m.

WALES, Maine — A local hunter was shot and killed by another hunter who may have been pursuing the same deer, an official with the Maine Warden Service said Wednesday.

Gerard Parent, 49, of Wales was fatally shot at about 4 p.m. Tuesday by Christopher Austin, 41, also of Wales, according to a press release issued about noon Wednesday by John MacDonald, a spokesperson for the Maine Warden Service.

MacDonald said the two men were hunting deer independently of one another in an area located between East Road and Route 126.

A preliminary investigation indicates both men were hunting with rifles and pursuing the same deer, according to the release. During the course of the incident, both men fired at what is believed to be the same deer. Austin fired two shots and Parent fired one shot, MacDonald said. Early indications are that Austin’s second shot struck Parent, killing him, according to the warden service.

The medical examiner’s office was scheduled to conduct an exam of Parent on Wednesday, according to the release.

Nearly two dozen game wardens and approximately 10 state troopers went to the scene of the shooting after it was reported about 4:19 p.m. Tuesday.

MacDonald said warden service canines, forensic mappers, aircraft and evidence response teams from both the warden service and Maine State Police were employed as the investigation continued throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Investigation efforts also were supported by both Monmouth and Wales Fire and Rescue departments.

The Maine Warden Service will continue its investigation in cooperation with the attorney general’s office and the medical examiner’s office. The primary warden assigned to the incident is Warden Peter Herring and Sgt. Dave Chabot. Members of the state police criminal investigation division also are assisting with the investigation.

The Waterville Morning Sentinel said Tuesday evening that emergency dispatch reports indicated the hunter had been shot in the jugular.

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the hunter who was fatally shot in Wales as Gerald Parent. His name was Gerard.

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