Woman Shot Dead By Hunter Who Thought She Was A Deer

Thanksgiving is a time when most families are preparing to reunite for a good meal, good company and to make some good memories. Unfortunately, tragedy doesn’t care if a holiday is coming when it strikes.

One man was hit by tragedy on the night before Thanksgiving. His wife was walking their dogs near their home in Upstate New York when she was shot by a hunter. The hunter, who shot from 200 yards away after sunset, thought the woman was a deer. Police are investigating, though no charges have been filed as of yet.

Rosemary Billquist, a 43-year-old woman from Sherman, New York, was walking her dogs on Wednesday night at about 5:30, not long after sunset. She was not even 100 yards from her home when suddenly she was hit by a bullet.

The bullet was shot by her neighbor, Thomas Jadlowski. He was hunting deer about 40 minutes after the sun began to set. In New York, it's illegal to hunt deer after sunset, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office tells Buffalo News.

"She was out and about where hunting was happening. You have to be aware of that and try to be visible, but it's the responsibility of the hunter. You have to know when the sunset is and plan your day so you can get out of the woods before that time and definitely not hunt after sunset," said Sheriff Joe Gerace.

Jadlowski says he heard the woman scream and rushed to find he’d injured his neighbor. He called 911 and attempted to apply pressure to Billquist's wound until the ambulance arrived. The victim was rushed to the hospital, but died of her injuries soon after.

Police are investigating the shooting. Prosecutors are considering pressing charges against Jadlowski for hunting in the dark.

Rosemary's husband, Jamie Billquist, is devastated by the unexpected loss of his wife. “They tried saving her,” he said to the Buffalo News. “It was just too bad... It’s horrific. It will be with me the rest of my life.”

The couple had been married for 27 years and had no children. “I thought she was a beautiful person. Something drew me to her…. We decided years ago we didn’t want kids. Just free spirits, I guess, kind of enjoying life and having fun.”

Billquist grew up in the small New York town and she and her husband moved there in 2002 because she wanted to return to her roots. She was an avid runner and had planned to run the YMCA Buffalo Niagara Turkey Trot the next morning on Thanksgiving. She had run several marathons and triathlons.

On Thanksgiving morning, Mr. Billquist took to Facebook to remind families to make the most of their time together that day. He urged people to “enjoy those moments” because “they are precious.”

Billquist thanked everyone who had reached out to offer condolences. “I know she’s touched so many lives with her kindness,” he wrote.

Source: HuffPost
Photo: Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Facebook

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