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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2004

TOWN JUSTICE INVOLVED IN HUNTING ACCIDENT

By Bryce T. Hoffman

AVOCA | A Coopers Plains man continues to recuperate after being shot Thursday by Avoca Town Justice Patrick J. McMahon in an apparent hunting accident.

The shooting happened about 10 a.m. Thursday near North Main Street in the town of Avoca. Michael Lewis, 45, was hunting with several others when an errant .44-caliber Magnum slug passed through his right arm and lodged in "a fleshy part of his back," said Inv. Donald Rodbourn of the state police Bath barracks.

"He just got ahead of the group a little bit," he said. "Unfortunately, that's what happened."

McMahon, 52, told police he had fired his handgun at a deer in a wooded area. When he discovered Lewis was hit, he alerted police, Rodbourn said.

Lewis was "a considerable distance away" and not visible to McMahon when he pulled the trigger, Rodbourn said.

Lewis walked out of the woods and was taken to Ira Davenport Hospital in Bath for treatment. He was later transferred to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for further treatment and then released, police said.

Lewis and McMahon are related by marriage, Rodbourn said. Police believe the shooting was accidental, he said, adding that McMahon is cooperating fully with the investigation.

Steuben County District Attorney John Tunney will review the case and decide whether criminal charges are appropriate, Rodbourn said.

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