A Woodburn man was shot and killed yesterday in what authorities are calling a hunting-related criminally negligent homicide.
According to a post on OregonLive.com, 20-year-old Elias Sontay was with a friend on private forestland near Drakes crossing when he was shot by 50-year-old William C. Rogers, a convicted felon hunting without a license.
Sontay and his friend had been collecting plants to use in floral arrangements when Rogers, spotting movement and what he thought to be antlers, fired in their direction. Although Rogers admitted to hearing voices coming from the direction in which he shot, he did not check their source and instead drove off to find another hunting spot.
Rogers was stopped and arrested soon after the incident. He faces charges of criminally negligent homicide, hunting without a license and being a felon in possession of a firearm. There is a criminal investigation underway, with medical examiner’s offices and the Marion County district attorney aiding the investigation.
This incident is a sobering reminder to observe safe hunting practices while enjoying the sport. Here are a few key safety tips:
1. Always be certain of your target and anything beyond it.
2. Always wear bright orange hunting garments.
3. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
4. Always control your emotions when hunting or shooting.
5. Never hunt without an appropriate license.
6. Never hunt while under the influence of intoxicants.
7. Don’t fire at sounds, fire at visuals.