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A Panama City firefighter killed his best friend


FOUNTAIN

A Panama City firefighter killed his best friend Saturday morning in what Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Stan Kirkland called a “terrible tragedy” and accident.

Three men were using dogs to hunt for deer on a hunting lease in Calhoun County off State 20. A deer being chased by the dogs ran in front of Matthew Riley, 31, who fired twice with a .308-caliber rifle. He missed the deer, but one of the bullets traveled 798 feet down J&S Lane, hitting Matthew Curenton, 35, of Lynn Haven, in the chest.

Curenton died at the scene.

Both men were wearing orange safety hats used to alert hunters. However, it was impossible for the two men to see each other at that distance, Kirkland said

“They could not see each other and did not know each other’s location,” Kirkland added.

Investigators will sit down with the State Attorney’s Office and discuss the facts of the case, but Kirkland said he does not anticipate any charges.

This is the fourth hunting accident in Northwest Florida since the season began in October and the first hunting fatality in Florida, Kirkland said.

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Comment by Helen (Firebug) on January 28, 2008 at 9:32pm
our trouble here where i live is that its so rural and cut off from the mainland and police are minimal....and we have a few that jack deer yr round and during day and night...so walking along trails esp when you hear the guns go off...sorta scares the crap outta ya....ppl dont care and dont think sometimes about what that bullet will do or where its going!...of course i am sure in this story that guy will forever have this ...it was his best bud he killed....i feel for him....
Comment by Mike Paramedic on January 24, 2008 at 7:22pm
I am sure he would of taken the place of his friend in a hearbeat and this will live in his heart and mind forever, such a tragedy, but, when one hunts YOU have to know where the other people are on stand and try and be so damn careful of where you aim and shoot. We just opened up high power rifles here in southern Iowa and so far no accidents. A friend of mine who is a awesome shot and a safe gun advocate lost his son to a hunting accident another youth shot him in the back while they were crossing a fence. Tragedies come in all shapes and sizes and when it's your day to go it's your day !!!!!!!!!!

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