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Early Saturday morning on April 11th at the start of Turkey season, a hunter’s life was cut short. It has been reported by State wildlife officials that one of their veteran officers shot and killed a hunter in self-defense after a confrontation.

An authority with The North Carolina Wildlife Commission says that this shooting happened early Saturday morning on private property in Wilkes County apparently without any witnesses to testify differently.

Wildlife Officer Mark Minton was patrolling during the first day of turkey hunting season when the confrontation happened says Captain Rusty Hunter of the Wildlife Commission. He says there is no evidence suggesting the officer confused the hunter with an animal. Instead, it appeared the officer was protecting himself.

Minton is on administrative leave while the State Bureau of Investigation reviews the incident. The hunter’s identity was not released. The commission did not immediately return a call for comment on Sunday.

According to a 2007 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice), from 2003 through 2005 at least 2,002 people died during their arrests by state and local law enforcement officers. The number of arrest-related deaths increased 13 percent over the course of the three years studied. In 2003 the number of deaths was 622. In 2005 it went up to 703 deaths.

Although the investigation is still being held and the identity of the victim that was killed in self-defense has not been released, clearly the officer was acting under the jurisdiction of the law. We are confident that justice will prevail and the integrity of our system will remain intact. The above statistics are only shown as a grim reminder that we live in a dangerous day and age. It truly is a sad example of an American recreational pastime gone terribly wrong.

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Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia, with offices in northeast NC and Virginia Beach (VA), practicing primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handles only injury law, including car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. The firm’s website is:, the firm edits three injury law blogs: Virginia Beach Injuryboard & Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and also hosts a video library covering many FAQ’s on personal injury subjects. The lawyers are licensed in VA, NC, WV, DC, SC, and KY.

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