A 43-year-old woman walking her dogs in a field in western New York was accidentally shot dead by her neighbor, who thought she was a deer.
Rosemary Billquist, 43, had just taken her Labradors, Sugar and Stella, out Wednesday night when she was hit by a single gunshot from a high-powered pistol.
The hunter, identified as 34-year-old Thomas Jadlowski, told authorities he heard a scream and ran closer to the area where he discovered Billquist.
Jadlowski called 911 and applied pressure to the woman's gunshot wound until medics arrived. She was transported to a hospital about 28 miles away in Erie, Pennsylvania, but it was too late. She later died in the hospital, according to the sheriff's office.
“They tried saving her,” her husband Jamie Billquist told local newspaper. “It was just too bad... It's horrific. It will be with me the rest of my life."
"I want to say thank you very much from my heart it means a lot and I know she's touched so many lives with her kindness and would help anyone no matter what plz everyone have thanksgiving with your family's and enjoy those moments they are precious," the widower wrote on Facebook.
No charges have been filed against Jadlowski at this time, according to the sheriff's office. The Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office will review the case to determine whether Jadlowski will face criminal charges.
The hunter broke the state regulations for hunting hours by firing his pistol after sunset. The shooting occurred less than an hour after sunset, at a time when it’s illegal to hunt.
“Hunters have to understand there are other people using trails, using parks in areas where we as sportsmen hunt,” said a master instructor for firearms for the state Department of Environmental Conservation's hunter education program, Dale Dunkelberger. “He shouldn't have been out there hunting after sunset. You’re done. That's the law.”
Banner/Thumbnail: Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office