A teen hunter in Georgia was fatally shot by a friend when he was mistaken for a deer, police said.
Bobby Lane, 17, was pronounced dead at a hospital after being shot with a rifle while hunting with friends Saturday in a wooded area near the 500 block of Myers Hill Road in Brunswick, Glynn County police said.
Lane, of Brunswick, was in an “area of heavy foliage” just prior to being shot, police said in a statement. One of three friends believed to have been with him at the time, identified by police as Hector Romero, allegedly mistook Lane for a deer and opened fire, Glynn County Police Officer Brandon Kondo told The Post.
Romero has not been charged as of Monday. He rushed Lane to a nearby convenience store before an ambulance took him to a hospital, where he died from his injuries, police said.
“Immediately after the incident, they loaded him into the bed of a pickup truck and took him to the convenience store,” said Kondo.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is conducting an ongoing investigation into the shooting, Kondo said, adding that investigators visited the scene on Sunday to reconstruct the incident and collect evidence.
Investigators believe Romero fired one shot with a rifle in the fatal shooting, which was reported to police at about 7 p.m. Saturday, Kondo said.
Although outdoorsmen can kill deer with bows and other primitive weapons, hunting season for deer with firearms in Georgia doesn’t start until Oct. 19, according to state wildlife officials.
The firearm “will play into the investigation,” a spokesman for the agency told the Washington Post.
“Our critical incident re-creation team is reconstructing the incident – just like you would a fatal car crash,” spokesman Mark McKinnon told the newspaper. “They’ll take measurements, look at angles and they’ll determine what happened.”
An online fundraiser set up in Lane’s memory had eclipsed $2,600 as of Monday.
“He was a very avid hunter and fisherman who loved the outdoors,” the website read. “Now his parents are trying to find the money to pay for his completely unexpected funeral.”
Lane’s mother, meanwhile, acknowledged her son’s death early Sunday on Facebook.
“My son is now my angel,” Kristin Nicole Grimes wrote. “Rest in peace my baby boy walk with Tyler every step. Till we meet again I love you always.”