November 26, 2012

Autopsy: Maine hunter died of gunshot wound to chest

By CRAIG CROSBY Kennebec Journal

WALES — A hunter killed near his East Road home last week died as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest, the medical examiner's office said today.

Mark Belserene of the state Medical Examiner’s Office said the cause of death was determined after an autopsy on the body of 49-year-old Gerard Parent.

Belserene said a report did not indicate whether the gunshot wound was the result of a homicide — meaning the fatal wound was caused by another’s actions. Maine Game Wardens have said that Christopher Austin, 41, of Wales, shot Parent Tuesday, Nov. 20, as men tracked the same deer in a sliver of woods between East Road and Route 126.

Corp. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service would not offer additional information today about the investigation.

“We are not reporting any new information,” MacDonald said. “Any possible charges are not yet known.”

MacDonald said shortly after the shooting that Parent and Austin both fired at the same deer. Austin fired twice and investigators believe it was that second shot that struck Parent.

The shooting was reported at 4:19 p.m. — about 13 minutes before the state-required end of the hunting day — and was initially reported to emergency responders as a gunshot wound to the throat.

The fatal shooting was the only one of the deer rifle hunting season, which ended Saturday.

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