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Family Remembers Westerly RI Man Killed While


Family Remembers Westerly Man Killed While Hunting

Members Of Hunting Party Face Charges

November 25, 2002


WESTERLY, R.I. -- The father of a Westerly man who was apparently shot and killed by a member of his own hunting party spoke to News Channel 10 on Monday about the loss of his son.

Some members of the hunting party face charges.

Robert King Jr., 36, was killed just before noon Sunday in a wooded area of Bradford. Police Chief Stephen Baker said King (picture, above) was killed by a single shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene by a state medical examiner.

Family members said hunting was King's favorite pasttime.

"Wrong place at the wrong time. That's what happens in hunting. You hear a quick rustle, you turn around, you're supposed to stop and look, but accidents do happen," Robert King Sr. said.

The younger King was a firefighter in Bradford for 18 years and then worked for Westerly for another 4 years.

"A good son, loved to protect community and did everything for the community really," King Sr. said. "We were all in the fire department, my son and myself. He was a junior fireman in Bradford. And when he got old enough he went into the bigger part -- sole volunteer -- and he really loved it."

King's father said he believes his son was shot with a muzzle loader. Investigators said the hunters, a group of six men, were deep in the woods when the shooting happened.

"It was a clear day, they had orange fluorescent clothes, and shotguns were involved," Sgt. Jeffrey Belmonte, of the Department of Environmental Management, said.


Man Killed In Hunting Accident

The news of King's death will be hard on the Westerly community because the victim was well known. His aunt, Beatrice King (pictured, left), described King as a guy's guy, who enjoyed his friends.

"He's always been active, he's always been a go-getter really, started on the Fire Department in Bradford, just as a kid and worked his way into the adult ranks," she said.

But, she said, his greatest love was for his 12-year-old son.

"He loved being a father, he was a good father, he always had his kids with him and we're so grateful they weren't with him today," she said.

Charges were filed Monday against four men who were on the hunting trip. The men face midemeanor charges, including conspiracy to violate fish and game laws, and failure to render aid.

The hunter who fired the shot was not charged. He was taken to Westerly Hospital, where he was treated for psychological trauma and released. His name has not been made public.

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