Hunter shoots woman, mistaking her for a deer

TOWN OF SHERMAN, N.Y. (WIVB) — State and local authorities are investigating a fatal accidental shooting in the Town of Sherman.

Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters responded to a report of an accidental shooting in the area of 2998 Armenian Road in the Town of Sherman Wednesday evening around 5:30 p.m.

Deputies say 43-year-old Rosemary A. Billquist of Sherman was shot once by a male hunter while walking her dogs.

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says the hunter, who has not been charged, mistook Billquist for a deer and shot her once with a pistol.

The hunter rushed over to Billquist when he heard a scream, and stayed with her until paramedics arrived.

Billquist was taken to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania where she was pronounced dead.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police is also investigating. Gerace says the agency looks into hunting accidents and is assisting in crime scene reconstruction.

Gerace says the case will be reviewed by the Chautauqua Co. District Attorney’s Office to see if the hunter will face criminal charges.

It’s unclear if Billquist was wearing reflective gear at the time of the shooting; the sun had set by that time.

Gerace tells News 4 it’s a hunter’s responsibility to not hunt once the sun has set.