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NC: Man shot in head while hunting

Man shot in head while hunting Accidental shooting involves local brothers

December 24, 2010

A Roanoke Rapids man is expected to make a full recovery after suffering gunshot wounds to his head and shoulder in a Wednesday evening hunting accident.

Officer Patrick Brown, of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, said Roger Warren, 31, and his brother Eric Warren, 28, both of Roanoke Rapids, were hunting at a farm about three miles south of Halifax around 5 p.m. when the shooting occurred.

"They were parked behind a house, inside of a car port, on a farm they had permission to hunt on," Brown said. "They were waiting for deer to come out in the field behind the house."

Sgt. Carl Hatcher, also of the commission, said Eric Warren was behind the car, which Brown said was a small Toyota passenger vehicle. Roger Warren was sitting in the front passenger seat inside the car.

"Eric Warren leaned over the trunk and put the rifle on the roof to steady it," Brown said. "When he shot at the deer, he could see the deer in the scope but didn't realize the barrel had not cleared the roof."

The bullet, fired from a 7 mm hunting rifle, according to Brown, entered the car's roof and disintegrated. Fragments struck Roger Warren in the back of the head behind the ear and in his shoulder.

"The two of them realized the victim was shot and they drove from the scene of the accident into Halifax," Hatcher said.

The brothers encountered Trooper Jeff Brown, of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, at the intersection of Highway 903 and Highway 301 near Halifax. Trooper Brown called for medical assistance. Initially, this location misled the commission.

"When I initially received the call about a hunting accident at the corner of 903 and 301, I thought, 'that's not usually a place where people hunt,' " Hatcher said. "But Eric Warren was very cooperative and took us where the accident happened."

The investigation is still ongoing, Brown said, but he is expecting to cite Eric Warren for criminal negligence during hunting, which carries a three-year license revocation and a fine if Warren is convicted.

Brown, who has 14 years of experience with the commission, said he's not used to such close-quarters hunting accidents yielding non-life-threatening injuries. He also said alcohol was not a factor and both parties were lucky.

"The two of them had been hunting most of their lives and they hadn't taken into consideration the placement of the gun," Brown said. "When I first got the call of a hunting accident with a gunshot wound to the head, I was expecting the worst. He's very fortunate it's not more severe than it was. It could have been a whole different outcome." .

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