Louisiana Man Arrested After Killing Hunting Companion in ‘Tragic’ Accident

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
November 13, 2018US News
Louisiana Man Arrested After Killing Hunting Companion in ‘Tragic’ Accident
Donald Jones was arrested after shooting his hunting companion in Louisiana on Nov. 10, 2018. (St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s office)

A Louisiana man was arrested after shooting his hunting companion in what’s being described as a tragic accident.

Donald Jones, 22, and Zachary Swanson, 23, were hunting together in the Peach Lake area of the Honey Island Swamp around 8 a.m. on Nov. 10.

Jones said he shot at a hog he saw but hit Swanson instead, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Jones told investigators that Swanson wasn’t wearing an orange vest that many hunters do to attempt to prevent hunting accidents. Jones said he didn’t know where Swanson was when he shot at the hog.

Jones called 911 and rendered aid while emergency responders rushed to the scene. Because the pair were in an area only accessible by boat, responders took a while to get there.

The first day me and Zachary met and this is the first photo we ever took has always been one of my favorites. It’s…

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Amber Kelcy Paige Vanderklis‎‏ في الإثنين، ١٢ نوفمبر ٢٠١٨

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Amber Kelcy Paige Vanderklis‎‏ في السبت، ١٠ نوفمبر ٢٠١٨

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officers were the first to arrive at the scene around 9:30 a.m., around 90 minutes after the shooting. By that time, Swanson was dead.

Jones was arrested and charged with one count of negligent homicide. He was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail on Nov. 10.

Depending on the outcome of an investigation by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, he may face additional charges. Lisa Stallings, Swanson’s mother, said in a post on Facebook that she and her husband don’t blame Jones for what happened.

“Please don’t question Donald Jones. We love him like our son. None of that matters. He needs all of our support & love. That boy is hurting. All he needs at this time is a hand shake & a hug. If we can wait so can everyone else. None of that matters. Zack would wanted it this way,” she wrote.

An autopsy of Swanson’s body was planned for Nov. 13, the sheriff’s office said.

Swanson’s partner Amber Vanderklis responded to the death on Facebook, sharing a post that said: “Dear God: I’m not okay. I’m not myself. I’m drained. Please calm my mind, heal my heart, and take my worries away.”

On Nov. 11, she said: “Waking up this morning just wishing I woke up to my good morning text from him like I do every morning. Just wishing yesterday was just a bad dream. Just wanting to jump in my truck and drive to his house and see him one last time. Still can’t believe this is real. I miss you so much Zack Swanson.”

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