New York woman shot dead with pistol by hunter who thought she was a deer

  • Rosemary Billquist, 43, killed as she walked dogs 100 yards from her home
  • Shooting occurred after sunset, when it is illegal to hunt

A 43-year-old woman walking her dogs in a field in western New York was accidentally shot dead by a hunter who thought she was a deer, authorities said.

The Chautauqua County sheriff’s office said Rosemary Billquist, of Sherman, took her dogs for a walk in her home town near the Pennsylvania border around 5.30pm on Wednesday.

Deputies said Billquist was walking in a field when a man hunting nearby mistook her for a deer and shot her once with a pistol.

The hunter heard her scream, called 911 and stayed with her until emergency crews arrived. Billquist was taken to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she was pronounced dead.

Officials said the shooting occurred about 40 minutes after sunset, when it is illegal to hunt. Police said the hunter had not been charged and the investigation was continuing.

The victim’s husband, Jamie Billquist, told the Buffalo News his wife was shot about 100 yards from their home.

“They tried saving her,” said Billquist. “It was just too bad … It’s horrific. It will be with me the rest of my life.”

Friends and family held a memorial on Thursday night outside the hospital where Rosemary Billquist worked. She also volunteered at a local hospice.

“She was always out to help somebody,” her husband said. “She never wanted credit and was always quiet about it.”

Dale Dunkelberger, master instructor for firearms for the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation’s hunter education program, told the Buffalo News shooting after hours and not properly identifying a target were a recipe for tragedy.

“Hunters have to understand there are other people using trails, using parks in areas where we as sportsmen hunt,” said Dunkelberger. “In this case, he shouldn’t have been out there hunting after sunset. You’re done. That’s the law.”

Dunkelberger said using a pistol to shoot deer was permissible.


Amanda Holpuch and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Woman shot dead in New York state after friend drove into wrong driveway
Kevin Monahan charged with second-degree murder of Kaylin Gillis after opening fire on car

Guardian staff

18, Apr, 2023 @8:09 AM

Article image
Firefighters shot dead at house fire in Webster, New York – video

Two firefighters have been shot dead and another two injured in Webster, New York after responding to an emergency call

24, Dec, 2012 @5:51 PM

Article image
Two firefighters shot dead and two injured in upstate New York

Neighbourhood in Webster evacuated and Swat teams called in after first responders are targeted by 'one or more shooters'

Matt Williams in New York

24, Dec, 2012 @4:36 PM

Article image
Two firefighters shot dead and two wounded in New York state ambush

Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka killed by gunman who set property on fire in order to set up an ambush

Matt Williams in New York

24, Dec, 2012 @9:02 PM

Article image
'Totally innocent' unarmed man shot dead by New York police
Commissioner Bill Bratton describes death of Akai Gurley, 28, who was shot and killed in a housing block in Brooklyn, as ‘a very unfortunate tragedy’

Oliver Laughland in New York and agencies

21, Nov, 2014 @7:41 PM

Article image
New York shopkeeper chases armed robber with machete - CCTV video

Security footage shows tense confrontation which was over within seconds as the masked man threatens the shopkeeper with a gun

08, Oct, 2013 @10:01 AM

Article image
Empire State Building gunman shot dead by police after killing boss

'Disgruntled employee' Jeffrey Johnson, 58, shot dead by police after attack in midtown Manhattan that left nine others injured

Matt Williams, Adam Gabbatt and Amanda Holpuch in New York

24, Aug, 2012 @7:16 PM

Article image
Chicago and New York clock disparate year-end crime milestones

New York mayor congratulates NYPD on the city's safest year on record while Chicago nears the end of one of its grimmest

Tom McCarthy in New York

28, Dec, 2012 @9:21 PM

Article image
Woman accused of making threats against Columbine high school found dead
Sol Pais, 18, who was described as armed and ‘infatuated’ with the Colorado school shooting, apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Joanna Walters in New York

17, Apr, 2019 @6:20 PM

Article image
New York police chief Ray Kelly criticises Obama on gun violence in Chicago

After five-year-old girl is wounded in the Bronx, commissioner notes gun crime is high in president's hometown of Chicago

Matt Williams in New York

26, Nov, 2012 @4:29 PM