A U.S. Marine was reportedly shot dead in the Oregon wilderness when a man hunting with his grandson unfortunately mistook the marine for a bear. NBC Bay Area reports that 20-year-old Christopher Ochoa died at the scene in Western Oregon where he was hiking with a friend Friday night. He was shot by 67-year-old Gene Collier, who was hunting bear with his 12-year-old grandson.
AP reports that Ochoa was wearing dark-colored clothing moving in brush when Collier fired one shot from his .270-caliber rifle. Ochoa was alive when deputies arrived, but died at the scene despite attempts to administer first aid. The sheriff’s office said that Collier hasn’t been charged, and said the shooting appeared to be accidental but turned the case over to the local district attorney’s office. A press release from the sheriff’s office noted that there was no indication that Collier was impaired by drugs or alcohol, and has been cooperative with detectives.
Bear season in Western Oregon runs from Aug. 1 until Dec. 31. AP notes that hunters are permitted to take one black bear per season, with restrictions on cubs less than one year old or sows with cubs. Fox 12 Oregon video from the scene Friday night:
Ochoa was from French Camp, California. Authorities told the Statesman Journal Ochoa and a friend came to Salem to work on a house. Ochoa was an active Marine Corps reservist, that was scheduled to report back for duty Oct. 25.