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Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting?: > 2004

HUNTING ACCIDENT CITED AS THE CAUSE OF WOMAN'S DEATH

December 18, 2004

An Onslow County woman was shot and killed Friday morning in an apparent hunting accident, Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown said.

The incident occurred in the Nine Mile community in southwest Onslow County at around 11 a.m., Brown said in a written release. The woman, who was not identified, was found lying by a pickup truck. She had a gunshot wound to the head.

Brown said the husband, who was also not identified, told authorities he shot his wife by accident.

Brown called in the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the incident because of the family's relationship to employees with the Sheriff's Department.

Brown, who referred most questions to the SBI, said emergency services was called to Swinson Road at about 11:15 a.m. Friday. Residents there reported a woman, who Brown said was 50 years of age, had been shot.

Scott Hawkins was at a house on Swinson Road near where the woman was found when the shooting occurred. He heard a knock on the door and when he answered it, a man he identified as the woman's son was there. He was out of breath and asked to use the telephone.

"I knew something was wrong," Hawkins said. "I asked him what happened, and he said, 'There was a hunting accident and my mom has been shot.'"

SBI special agent Steve Combs referred questions to his supervisor, D.M.

Allen. He could not be contacted Friday night.

Investigators closed Swinson Road for most of the day while investigators scanned the area for evidence.

Brown said his investigators discovered family connections shortly after arriving on the scene.

"While questioning witnesses, deputies learned the victim was the mother-in-law of an Onslow County Sheriff's Office deputy sergeant," Brown said.

Brown said the husband is related to a retired deputy and the uncle of an active-duty deputy.

"Because of these relationships, I decided it was only proper to ask the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to handle the case," Brown said in a press release.

Hunters are said to frequent the area off Swinson Road and Nine Mile Road, said a woman who lives on Swinson who asked not to be identified. The area is mostly wooded with a few mobile and modular homes scattered about.

"I hear gunshots all the time," she said.

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