Hunter kills woman walking her dogs on Thanksgiving eve, says he thought she was a deer

A hunter in upstate New York fatally shot a woman walking her dogs after he mistook her for a deer.

The New York Post reports that Rosemary Billquist, 43, had taken her labradors out for a walk Wednesday evening in Chautauqua County, near the Pennsylvania state border, before the tragic accident.

Billquist’s neighbor Thomas Jadlowski, 34, reportedly told police he saw a deer from about 200 yards away and fired his shotgun, hitting the woman. According to the Buffalo News, Jadlowski said he heard a scream after he fired his gun and ran to the woman. He called 911 and applied pressure to the gunshot wound.

EMTs arrived and transported Billquist to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Earlier, her husband Jamie heard his dogs barking and went outside. He was greeted by one of the EMTs who is also a friend, and they told him what had happened. Jamie went to the hospital in the ambulance with his wife.

“They tried saving her,” Jamie Billquist told the Buffalo News.

“It’s horrific. It will be with me the rest of my life.”

Police have not yet filed charges against Jadlowski, who was in violation of New York state hunting laws which prohibit hunting after sunset. Jadlowski reportedly called 911 at 5:24 p.m., which was 40 minutes after sunset on Wednesday. Further, Jamie Billquist told the Buffalo News that Jadlowski was on a neighbor’s property when he fired his gun, and did not have permission to be hunting there.

The investigation is ongoing. This is a developing story, and CrimeOnline will publish an update as more information becomes available.

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated that the hunter was 200 feet away from the victim when he fired his gun. He was 200 yards away.

[Feature image: Facebook/Jamie and Rosemary Billquist]