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Hunter Who Mistakenly Shot Woman is State Trooper

January 1, 2012

From TheBostonChannel.com

Woman's Injuries Not Life-Threatening

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 her out.”

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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