Louisiana man killed in ‘tragic’ accident

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 3, 2000

WOODVILLE-An early morning duck hunt turned into an &uot;awful tragedy&uot; Sunday when a Louisiana man was accidentally shot and killed by a friend.

John Richard, 35, of Krotz Springs, La., was killed instantly at around 7:15 a.m. Sunday in the Big Lake Blind at Loch Leven Plantation in the northwestern corner of Wilkinson County, authorities said Monday.

&uot;We were told one person turned to shoot at the ducks and someone stood up in front of him,&uot; said Lt. Ricky Long, supervisor with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, one of several agencies investigating the shooting. &uot;It appears to be an completely accidental.&uot;

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The incident occurred as one of three men in a duck blind turned to shoot at ducks overhead.

Richard was struck once in the right side of the head by a 12-gauge shotgun blast, Long said.

&uot;It’s just an awful, awful tragedy,&uot; Long said, adding that Richard’s death was the first such hunting-related shooting death in several years in Long’s district which includes five area counties.

A total of seven men were hunting from two blinds on the plantation which Long said was owned by Ivan Morris from the Baton Rouge, La., area.

No one else was injured.

Long said there was no indication that the hunters had been drinking alcohol before the accident.

Richard’s death has been ruled an accidental shooting by the coroner, but the identity of the shooter has not been released pending the outcome of the complete investigation.

Several agencies will work together on the investigation including the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, The Wilkinson County Coroner’s Office and the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Department.