Tragedy as man shoots dead his best friend and dad-of-three on hunt after mistaking him for wild boar
By PAUL THOMPSON
A father-of-three was accidentally shot dead by his best friend while taking part in a wild boar hunt on Thursday.
Clinton Haas died instantly after being shot during a night hunt on private land.
The 34-year-old had joined Ernie Small Jr in trying to track down and kill the wild pigs in Jupiter, Florida.
Officials said Small Jr ,36, mistook his friend for a boar and shot him dead.
The shooting was ruled accidental but the investigation remains open.
The victim’s widow Allison said her husband had been boar hunting before and even brought home the spoils of the hunt for the family.
‘He was the most kind, and giving, caring person. He always went above and beyond for others,’ Allison Haas told the Palm Beach Post.
‘I don’t know what other words. He really wore his heart on his sleeve, he took care of so many people.’
The couple have a son and twin daughters.
Haas said she knew her husband was going to the Bridgewater development, a gated, private area with Small to spread corn feed to draw the pigs out.
Officials said their initial investigation pointed to a tragic accident.
‘At this point in our investigation, this appears to be a terrible hunting accident,’ said Capt. John Suggs, law enforcement supervisor for the FWC, in a statement.
‘As with all hunting incidents, we will conduct a thorough investigation to find out how and why this hunting trip ended so tragically.’
Officials said the men, who had hunting licenses, had been hired to kill the wild pigs as they were damaging property.
‘Boars destroy property like there is no tomorrow,’ FWC Officer Amanda Phillips said. ‘They eat roots, insects, they dig up the ground.’