PA: Hunter killed by another hunter who was more than 1500 feet away
Article published Dec 20, 2008
By Tim Hahn
Hunter's death ruled an accident No charges to be filed against
MEADVILLE -- A hunter who had fired at a doe in some East Mead
Township woods launched the shot that killed another hunter on Dec. 6,
state police said.
Investigators on Friday ruled the shooting death of 33-year-old
Michael J. Frye as accidental, and said the hunter who fired the shot
will not face criminal charges in the incident.
Police did not identify the male hunter, who lives in Meadville.
Members of Frye's family were notified of the ruling on Friday
afternoon. They declined to comment Friday.
"It's just a tragic accident," Crawford County Coroner Patrick
McHenry said. "The individual came forward right away and was
cooperating from day one."
Frye was hunting alone in an area near his Paden Road home in East
Mead Township on the morning of Dec. 6 when, investigators said, he was
hit in the right shoulder by a high-power rifle bullet that traveled
into his spine.
Frye's mother, Phyllis Frye, found Frye's body hours later, police
State police investigators and Pennsylvania Game Commission officers
focused on the likelihood that the bullet was fired accidentally from
another hunter's gun after an autopsy ruled out suicide in Frye's death.
Police and members of Frye's family said the area where Frye was
killed was a popular hunting spot.
"The investigators ... were able to discover lists of people who had
permission to hunt in the area," state police spokesman Cpl. Mark
Zaleski said Friday.
Investigators said cooperation from the community helped them
identify a number of people who were hunting in the area on Dec. 6. That
led to the Meadville hunter, who voluntarily provided his firearm for
ballistic testing, Trooper Dale Wimer said.
The tests determined that the fatal shot had come from the man's gun,
The hunter was unaware that Frye was in the area when he fired a shot
at a doe while the hunter stood along a wooded fence row in an area that
was covered by hemlocks, Wimer said. The bullet traveled more than 1,500
feet before striking Frye, who was not visible from where the hunter was
standing, the trooper said.