A 17-year-old boy from Georgia has been fatally shot after a friend mistook him for a deer during a hunting trip.
Police say Bobby Lane had been on a hunting trip with friends in Glynn County, Georgia, on September 28 when his friend Hector Romero shot him with a rifle, having believed he had been shooting at a deer in an area of heavy foliage.
Romero, 32, reportedly helped carry Bobby to the Friendly Express gas station on Highway 82 and 303. From here, Bobby was taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance where he sadly succumbed to his injuries later the same day.
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According to a press release from the Glynn County Police Department, initial interviews revealed Romero and Bobby had been known to each other.
The scene is currently secured, according to Glynn County Police Department, and an ongoing, joint investigation into the incident is being undertaken by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Glynn County investigators.
Police have said Bobby was shot with a rifle, even though it’s currently bow season in Georgia. Georgia Department of National Resources have explained firearm season will only begin as of October 19.
At the time of writing, it’s unclear whether or not Romero will face criminal charges and no charges have been announced.
Spokesperson from The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Mark McKinnon, told The Washington Post:
Our critical incident re-creation team is reconstructing the incident – just like you would a fatal car crash, They’ll take measurements, look at angles and they’ll determine what happened.
Writing on a gofundme page which has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses, Bobby’s cousin Michael Rawling described him as having been ‘a very avid hunter and fisherman who loved the outdoors’.
The gofundme page has raised $2,679 out of the $10,000 target at the time of writing, with the money intended to help Bobby’s parents pay for his ‘completely unexpected funeral’.
Rawling told WJXT News4Jax how his cousin had a ‘heart of gold’, stating:
You don’t expect anything like this to happen to a child, It’s very hard. Very, very hard.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Bobby Lane at this difficult time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.