Hunters Cooperating In Mason Co. Shooting

WDFW will join the investigation into the shooting death of a 24-year-old man yesterday in Mason County.

“We’re investigating the possibility this is a hunting-related incident and will be working with the sheriff’s office,” says Enforcement Division Deputy Chief Mike Cenci this morning. “WDFW is mandated to investigate all hunting incidents.”

News reports say that Carlos Pablo Carrillo was picking salal around 10 a.m. in a wooded area off California Road northwest of Shelton when he was shot in the head and died.

Two unidentified men came forward several hours later and have been cooperating so far with police, says Mason County Chief Deputy Dean Byrd.

“They were hunting for bear. They saw what appeared to be a bear in the woods. It was black. A shot was fired,” he alleges. “They thought they missed. Then they saw the newscasts and turned themselves in at 4 p.m.”

Bear season is open for rifle hunters in that area currently.

Byrd says there have been no arrests. An autopsy of the victim will begin at 9:30 this morning.

News reports say that Carrillo was from Guatemala, was married and had a 3-year-old daughter. Salal is used for flower arrangements.

The case raises memories of another case of mistaken identity that led to a tragic end. Two years ago Pamela Almli was hiking on the Sauk Mountain Trail when she was shot by a 14-year-old who mistook her for a bear.

As an outgrowth of that, WDFW and the Optometric Physicians of Washington recently teamed up to offer hunters free vision tests.

WDFW’s “Hunter’s Code of Conduct” stresses only shooting when “absolutely sure of your target and its background.”

Nonhunters in Washington’s woods and fields are not required to wear hunter orange.

In a four-page discussion (so far) about the incident on Hunting Washington, “Machias” remarked:

Making folks wear orange is NOT the answer.  The population as a whole will look at this and if hunters start demanding that everyone else must adapt because we as a group cannot be trusted to do OUR duty and ID a target positively before we pull the trigger.  Then the population will say OH no we have a better solution, you folks must STAY out of OUR woods.  This is nothing about folks walking around with black or brown clothing on, crawling around in the bush in black.  WE have to positively ID our targets, pure and simple.  These type of accidents are our issue, not the general population’s problem.  You should be able to strap on a set of antlers and walk around the woods and NOT get shot.

UPDATE: SEPT. 30, 2010, 12:19 P.M. KOMO TV posted an updated story. It quotes Byrd as saying, “At this point in the investigation detectives are calling the incident a tragic hunting accident.” It also states:

According to a preliminary investigation, the two men were apparently hunting legally in the area.

The two were walking along the road and saw what one of the hunters thought was a bear, and he fired one shot. The hunter thought he had missed his target, so the pair continued on, then left the area.

Investigators did note that Carrillo was wearing black clothing at the time he was shot.

EDITOR’S NOTE: AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS MIS-STATED THE AGE OF THE BOY IN THE PAMELA ALMLI SHOOTING AND MISSPELLED CARLOS PABLO CARRILLO’S NAME.

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