Ohio Man Dies After Accidentally Being Shot by Father While Deer Hunting

by Chris Haney
Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images for BEGOC

Last week, a group went deer hunting in Ohio when a father accidentally shot and killed his son after mistaking him for a deer.

Officials said that Bradley Smith, 63, tragically shot his 28-year-old son, Andrew, during their hunting excursion. The two men joined friends to hunt deer in a heavily wooded area outside of Delaware, OH. The area is around the 2000 block of Pollock Road, according to The Columbus Dispatch

Additionally, the group is said to have been full of experienced hunters who often gathered together for hunts. In fact, they had met at that location for more than 20 years to hunt white-tailed deer. The group wanted to take advantage of Ohio’s annual deer gun-hunting week, which ended over the weekend on Sunday.

“It’s just the worst kind of tragedy. He thought he was shooting at a deer. It was his son,” Delaware County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Tracy Whited said.

Whited added that Smith accidentally shot his son just before dusk around 5:45 p.m. on Dec. 2. Emergency crews responded to the hunters’ 911 calls, however, officials pronounced Andrew dead on their arrival.

The state requires hunters to wear orange apparel during the deer-gun season as a precautionary measure, but the son did not wear the orange shooting gear. Specifically, hunters must wear orange from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Ohio’s statewide requirement applies to both public and private land, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife’s hunting and trapping regulations guide.

Authorities said that they will not press any charges against Smith due to his son’s death.

[H/T Columbus Dispatch]

Deer Hunting Accident Takes the Life of NJ Police Officer

Similar to the sad father-son hunting accident in Ohio, a New Jersey policeman was hunting with a family member recently and suffered a fatal gunshot wound.

38-year-old Jason Franco of the Hamburg police department died from the accidental shot, according to the Sussex County prosecutor’s office. First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Mueller shared more details on the incident.

On Tuesday, Franco and a family member went deer hunting in Wantage, NJ. A shotgun round struck Franco during the hunt. Mueller stated that officials have ruled the shooting as an accident.

“The investigation appears to suggest this was just a tragic accident,” Mueller said.

According to spokesman Alejandro Goez of the NJ State Police, officials found Franco around 12:30 p.m. Police arrived at the scene and found Franco in a wooded-area near Havens Road. Afterward, officials said that Franco was pronounced dead at the scene. In addition, authorities did not disclose the other family member’s name.