The village of Goudelin in Normandy is in a state of shock after Sunday’s hunting accident, where the president of the local hunt association killed his partner, who was reportedly a British woman.
Read more: British woman dies after being shot during Brittany hunt
Goudelin’s mayor Laurent Le Faucheur told The Connexion that there was a “strong emotion” in the village and that everyone was very subdued.
The woman, 67, who has not yet been named by authorities, had lived with her partner in the commune for seven years.
“He has always been involved with the hunt association and she was involved alongside him,” said Mr Le Faucheur.
“The hunt has an annual dinner and also a stand selling food at village events, and she was always at the forefront in helping to prepare things.
“She was not a member of other associations, but could be called on to give a hand if it was needed, and was always in good humour, kind and ready to smile.”
He said that as far as he knew, the woman’s only relative was a sister who lived in England.
Gendarmes are continuing their investigation into the accident.
Test for alcohol and drugs was negative
The man, whose gun went off accidentally during a boar hunt, was arrested, then taken to hospital.
He was released from arrest by the public prosecutor of Saint-Brieuc, “because his state was not compatible with his remaining under arrest.” The prosecutor’s statement added that he was tested for alcohol and drugs and found to be negative.
Mr Le Faucheur said he had spoken to other people who were involved in the boar hunt, where the woman was present as an invitee.
They all confirmed what was in the prosecutor’s statement – that the man was walking with his shotgun over his shoulder, with the barrel pointing backwards as they crossed a harvested maize field.
His partner was walking behind him when the gun suddenly discharged, and to the shock of all present, the woman was shot.
She had a wound above the heart.
An autopsy is due to be carried out tomorrow (Wednesday, October 19).
Figures from the Office français de la Biodiversité and the Fédération nationale de la chasse show that since the year 2000, there have been 3,325 hunting accidents in France, including 421 deaths.
This works out at just over 150 accidents per year, of which 20 are fatal on average. However, since 2000, the number of accidents has dropped by 40%, and the number of deaths by 70%.
In 2020-2021, there were 83 hunting accidents in France, of which seven were fatal.
Earlier this year, a 25-year-old woman in Cantal was shot dead while walking with her partner, in an accident that sent shockwaves through France.
Even more recently, a number of accidents have attracted attention due to their severity.
This includes an incident in Drôme, on October 9, when a 62-year-old was seriously injured in the abdomen while mushroom picking in the forest of Vinsobres.
One the same day, another accident happened in Pommiers, in the Beaujolais. A 33-year-old woman was walking in the vineyards with her children aged 7 and 10, when the family was hit in the legs by lead shot.
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