Natchez teen killed in hunting accident

Published 2:33 am Monday, December 20, 2010

NATCHEZ — An apparent hunting accident claimed the life of a 19-year-old Natchez High School senior early Sunday morning.

According to reports from Adams County Coroner James Lee, Deltaurus Holmes, 806 Lower Woodville Road, was pronounced dead at 10:13 a.m. at Natchez Community Hospital from apparent gunshot wounds to the head and abdomen.

Lee said Holmes was hunting on a neighbor or friend’s property around Green Acres and Eagle Nest Road in Natchez.

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Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said his office received a call at 6:32 a.m. about a possible hunting accident.

Mayfield said emergency responders and ACSO deputies arrived at the scene, where they found Holmes on the ground with gunshot wounds to the back of his head and abdomen.

Mayfield did not say what type of weapon was used.

Mayfield reported that a 16-year-old hunter was the one who accidentally shot Holmes, after the hunter saw something moving through the brush.

Mayfield said Holmes was not wearing any orange, the safety color hunters use to avoid hunting accidents.

Mayfield reported that the hunter had seen a deer in the area in which Holmes was shot, saw the colors brown and white moving through the brush and shot.

Holmes was reportedly wearing brown and white clothing.

The 16-year-old hunter was hunting with two 13-year-olds, one of which was injured during the accident as well. He was transported to Natchez Community Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Mayfield said investigators interviewed everyone at the scene and the stories matched.

No charges will be filed.

“It was just a tragic accident,” he said. “(The hunter) had seen a deer earlier in that area, and when Holmes came through, he just saw brown and white and shot at him thinking it was a deer.”

Lee said he is performing an autopsy because it is state law if a gunshot is involved.

“This is sad for the whole community,” he said. “It is a tragedy anyway you look at it, especially since it is around the holidays.”

Mayfield said he wanted to extend his compassion to everyone involved in the accident.

“On behalf of the entire department, we want to extend our deepest sympathy to both families involved,” he said. “It is just a tragedy, and there is no reason to believe there was any foul play.”