NORTON, Mass. -- An off-duty state trooper shot a woman in Norton
Saturday afternoon in a hunting accident, according to State Police
spokesman David Procopio.
Investigators said Cheryl Blair, 66, of Norton, was struck in the
torso on a path near Oak Street at about 4:55 p.m.
Blair’s husband, Jim, said his wife was on her usual trail behind
their house with two of their golden retrievers when Trooper John
Bergeron, 50, of Norton, their neighbor, mistook her for a deer.
“Was he out there to shoot people? No. Was it an accident? Yes,”
said Jim Blair. “After that I don't know. II got there when she was
on the ground with a bullet hole in her.”
Procopio said Bergeron had observed a deer earlier in the day in
the same area. He then observed what he believed to be a deer tail
and fired one round, accidentally hitting Blair.
When he realized what happened, Bergeron called 911 and provided
medical aid until emergency crews arrived.
“She was laying on her side and was conscious and alert,” said
Norton Fire Department Capt. Kent Campbell. “She was OK. The biggest
thing once we got to her was trying to find the easiest way to get
Cheryl Blair was taken to Rhode Island Hospital where she is
recovering with non life-threatening injuries.
“He lives down the street,” said Jim Blair. “I know the man.
Decent guy. (Just) made a mistake.”
Procopio said Bergeron was off-duty at the time of the incident,
was properly permitted and was in the appropriate area for hunting.
Jim Blair, who hunts in the same woods, said he’s still in shock
over what happened.
“There’s an irony here,” said Jim Blair. “Years ago I was in the
military, nothing happened to me. My two sons are in the military
and have had tours and nothing has happened to them. My wife is
walking in the back yard -- in the woods -- and gets shot. Just
something really weird about that. Just surreal.”
Norton, state and environmental police are investigating the
incident. No charges are expected to be filed.
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