When one New York hunter lined up his shot at what he believed to be a deer on the day before Thanksgiving, he didn’t know he was about to change his life forever, and end another.
Thomas B. Jadlowski, 34, shot and killed Rosemary Billquist, 43 — a woman walking her dogs in the rural town of Sherman — because he failed to properly identify his target.
After he took the shot, Jadlowski told authorities, he heard a scream and ran to see what was the matter, according to The Buffalo News.
He then learned his fatal mistake.
He attempted to help her. He put pressure on the wound, and called emergency services.
Billquist was rushed by emergency response personnel to a hospital, where she died.
The tragedy could have been avoided if Jadlowski had simply followed the rule of law: Hunting in the area is illegal after sunset, which occurred at 4:46 p.m., on the day of the shooting, according to the Buffalo News. The call reporting an accidental shooting came in at 5:24 p.m.
Combining odd hours and a judgment lapse in a hunter assessing a target is a recipe for tragedies of this nature.
Dale Dunkelberger, master instructor for firearms for the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s hunter education program, told The Buffalo News that “hunters have to understand there are other people using trails, using parks in areas where we as sportsmen hunt.”
Dunkelberger, who told the News he is very familiar with Sherman, said the facts don’t seem to be in doubt.
“In this case, it appears from what I gathered this was after sunset, and he shouldn’t have been out there hunting after sunset,” he said. “You’re done. That’s the law.”
Now, not only is someone dead and her family shattered, but the hunter is facing criminal charges.
According to The Buffalo News, a grand jury on Thursday indicted Jadlowski on a charge of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting. He surrendered to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and a judge set bail at $50,000 cash or $100,000 property. It wasn’t clear if Jadlowski made bail Thursday.
He’s facing 15 years in prison.
Billquist was a marathon runner and hospital worker who is survived by her husband, Jamie. Hundreds of Sherman-area residents turned out for her funeral Wednesday, The Buffalo News reported.
As conservatives, and as Americans who cherish both the rule of law and our right to keep and bear arms, it is absolutely imperative that victims in tragedies like this — tragedies that could have been avoided with good judgment and lawful behavior — are given the justice they deserve.
And as sorry as Jadlowski might be, he’s going to need to bear the consequences of his actions.
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