November 26, 2012

Chest wound killed hunter, state rules

By Craig Crosby
Staff Writer

WALES -- A hunter killed near his East Road home last week died as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Mark Belserene of the State Medical Examiner's Office said Monday the cause of death was determined after an autopsy on the body of 49-year-old Gerard Parent.

The fatal shooting was the only one of the deer rifle hunting season in Maine, which ended Saturday.

Belserene said a report did not say whether the gunshot wound was the result of a homicide, meaning the fatal wound was caused by another's actions.

The Maine Warden Service, which is investigating the shooting, has said Christopher Austin, 41, of Wales, shot Parent late in the afternoon last Tuesday.

Both men were tracking the same deer in a sliver of woods between East Road and Route 126, the warden service said.

Even after Parent's cause of death was released, Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service on Monday would not offer additional information about the case, including whether charges will be filed.

MacDonald said shortly after the shooting that Parent and Austin both fired at the same deer. Austin fired twice and investigators believe it was that second shot that struck Parent.

The shooting took place around 4:19 p.m., about 12 minutes after sunset but 13 minutes before the state-required end of the hunting day. Initial emergency dispatch reports said someone had been shot in the throat.

Parent lived at 392 East Road, at the southern end near the intersection with Route 126, and wardens say the shooting occurred near his property. The land slopes steeply down from the road and the wooded area where he was shot is in a valley.

Both men used rifles and were hunting separately, according to the warden service.

Craig Crosby -- 621-5642

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