Man Kills Brother in Tragic Hunting Accident

Disasters and AccidentsWXMI

The Mecosta County Sheriff's Department is investigating the first hunting death in West Michigan this firearms season. Deputies believe the man didn’t know at first that he accidently shot and killed his own brother. 

Sheriff Todd Purcell tells FOX 17 the two brothers are from an Amish family, and in his 20 years of service, he’s never seen a hunting accident like this. 

Neighbors say the victim is 26-year-old Harry Weaver, who owns 110 acres along 85th Avenue near 2 Mile Road in Lakeview. 

On Wednesday, just before dusk, deputies say a few of his brothers came by to hunt deer that frequently cross the open pastures, and that group had not idea Harry was out doing the same. 

“His brother was hunting the same area,” says Sheriff Purcell, “at which time he stated that he had shot at a deer running across the field three times.” 

Neighbors say that brother is 23-year-old David Weaver and from where he was standing, he couldn`t see past the rolling hills.   He missed the deer, but hit a blind over 400 yards away - Harry was inside.   

“(Harry) did not come back into the house to do his chores,” says Purcell, and that’s when the family went looking for him.  

Just after 6:45 p.m. Harry was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the head.  

“Evidence found at the scene initially pointed to the fact that the brother may have been the one to fire the fatal shot,” says Purcell. He adds that the brother is shaken, but cooperating fully with the investigation. 

“It’s an accidental tragedy that the hunting community is aware of,” Purcell says. “And the family is doing as best as possible.”

Purcell hopes this incident will serve as a safety reminder to all hunters.

“(Be) aware of your surroundings what you’re shooting at,” he says, “and what the possible ramifications are if you do miss.  (Think about) what’s beyond where you’re shooting.”

Deputies are still investigating and say they do not suspect foul play. They will turn over their reports to the Mecosta County Prosecutor who will decide whether or not to file charges. 




Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times