SHERMAN, N.Y. — A 43-year-old woman was shot to death while walking her dogs in a rural field in western New York.
Rosemary Billquist, of Sherman, took her dogs for a walk in her hometown around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, when she was shot with a pistol, Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office said.
Authorities said a man hunting nearby mistook her for a deer while she was walking in the field, and shot her.
The hunter, Thomas Jadlowski, heard Billquist scream, called 911, and stayed with her until emergency crews arrived. Billquist was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Jadlowski told investigators he was 200 yards from the victim when he fired.
The shooting occurred about 40 minutes after sunset, when it’s illegal to hunt, according to officials.
Billquist’s husband, Jamie, told CNN she worked at a hospital in Jamestown for 25 years and volunteered at hospices and homes for the elderyly
He wrote a heartfelt message on Facebook, talking about the positive impact his wife made. “I know she’s touched so many lives with her kindness and would help anyone no matter what,” he said, “I will miss you and love you forever and I know you’re dancing in heaven with your momma and all of our friends and family that we have lost.”
Police say the Jadlowski hasn’t been charged, and a criminal investigation into the shooting is ongoing. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is involved because the shooting is considered hunting related.
Sherman is a rural town of about 1,600 people and is 60 miles southwest of Buffalo.
CNN contributed to this report.