At 4:55 p.m., Norton Police and Fire responded to a hunting accident in the vicinity of 98 Oak St.
A woman was injured in the accident by a muzzle loader, a single-shot rifle, and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital. Though the incident is still under investigation, Lt. Todd Jackson of Norton Police Department said it was most likely just an accident.
According to a report from the Sun Chronicle, the woman was shot in the abdomen.
UPDATE 10:18 p.m.: A preliminary investigation reveals that a hunter shot at what he believed to be a deer. The female victim, a 66-year-old Norton resident, was walking her two dogs on a path in the same area when she was struck. The hunter, also a Norton resident, immediately called 911 and police and fire personnel were dispatched. Norton fire personnel extracted the woman from the wooded area and transported her to Rhode Island Hospital. The incident remains under investigation by Detective James Franco, along with State and Environmental Police.
Jan. 1, 12:58 p.m.: The investigation by Norton Police, State Police assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office and Environmental Police has revealed the shooting to be accidental. Investigators state the hunter, John Bergeron, age 50, of Norton, observed a deer earlier in the day in the general area of the incident. He then observed what he believed to be a deer tail and fired one round. The victim, Cheryl Blair, age 66, of Norton, was on a path walking her two dogs in the same area and was struck by the round.
Investigators believe that Bergeron observed the dogs and believed them to be deer. Bergeron immediately called 911 and summoned police and fire assistance for Blair.
The area of the incident was approximately one quarter mile into the wooded area off Oak Street and a safe distance from any buildings.
No violations have been found and no charges will be filed. Blair is recovering at Rhode Island Hospital.