More than 900 people in southwest France have taken part in a march of solidarity in honour of a 25-year-old man who was shot and killed by a stray bullet fired by a hunter this week.
The march took place on Saturday December 5, in Cajarc, close to Calvignac in the Lot, southwest France, home of Morgan Keane, who was accidentally shot and killed by a hunter this week.
Organisers expected around 250 people to attend; instead, a crowd of more than 900 people - the majority of them wearing face masks - showed up in support, after the death shocked the community and beyond.
The march was completed in silence around the town. Some people held placards bearing messages such as “hunting kills”, and others wore paper targets on their chests, in protest.
Reports initially said that Mr Keane was British, but this has since been corrected. Mr Keane was French with an Irish father, and had been brought up and schooled in France.
He is survived by a younger brother, Rowan, who is being taken care of by friends. Both parents are deceased.
Mr Keane was chopping wood on his property, 100 metres from his house in Calvignac, Lot, on Wednesday, December 2 when he was killed by a stray bullet fired by a hunter.
Read more: Man shot by hunter in France was not British as reported
A friend and march organiser, Ralph Dodd, told local newspaper La Dépêche: “I am pleased [with the big turnout] but not at all surprised. That was Moggy’s [Morgan’s] strength; to bring us all together and to move us all.”
Further tributes included candles and flowers laid next to a photo of Mr Keane in Cajarc.
Rassemblement en mémoire de Morgan Keane jeune de 25 ans tué par un chasseur sur sa propriété alors qu'il coupait du bois... #cajarc #lot#stoplachasse #interdisonslachasse pic.twitter.com/09XjLv9sV2— R$kp (@neuroskp) December 5, 2020
Mayor of Cajarc, Jacques Viratelle, who was present at the march alongside other local officials, said: “We feel real pain today, for this young man who was so very kind and helpful.”
Mr Viratelle’s predecessor, Jacques Borzo, added: “There is increasing fear about going into the forest for a hike or bike ride with your family.” He called for “stricter regulations” on hunters.
One march participant, a biker named Xavier, who did not know Mr Keane personally, said: “Nature does not belong to hunters...we must legislate these hunts with professionals. Each of us should be able to walk peacefully in the woods, especially on Sundays.”
A friend of Mr Keane said that he wanted the death to “make things move in the right direction” when it comes to hunting laws, and for it to not be in vain.
Another family friend, Lillian Bell, told The Connexion that she is arranging the funeral for Mr Keane, but does not yet know when it will be as they await an autopsy.
The alleged shooter, a 33-year-old man from Aveyron, was placed under judicial supervision on Friday, December 4, and charged with manslaughter. He faces three to five years in prison.
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