Police ID hiker killed by hunter near Silver Falls

Police ID hiker killed by hunter near Silver Falls

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by Jeff Thompson, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 4:37 AM

SUBLIMITY, Ore. -- A 20-year-old hiker was killed after being accidentally shot by a hunter near Silver Creek Falls Friday night, police said.

Just before 6:30 p.m. dispatchers received a 911 report of shots fired in the 6300 block of Silver Ridge Road SE, near Sublimity, according to Don Thomson with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Responding deputies were contacted by a man whose friend was suffering from gunshot wounds. They administered first aid until a medical crew arrived, but the victim died at the scene. He was identified as Christopher A. Ochoa, of French Camp, California.

Investigators learned that Ochoa was hiking through the field toward Silver Creek Falls with his friend when he was shot.

At the same time, 67-year-old Gene Collier, of Turner, was hunting for bear on the property with his 12-year-old grandson.

"He saw what he thought was a bear, moving in the brush," Thomson said. "He fired one shot from his .270-caliber hunting rifle. The shot struck Ochoa."

Collier was cooperating with detectives and Thomson said there was no indication of impairment due to alcohol or drugs. The grandson was kept some distance away from the shooting when it happened and he was not considered a witness.

Ochoa's family was notified of his death. They told investigators that Ochoa had been in Salem to do some construction work. He was an active Marine Corp Reservist who was expected to report back for duty October 25.

"The shooting appears to be accidental, but the investigation will be turned over to the Marion County District Attorney's Office for review," Thomson said. "They will decide if Collier will be charged with any crimes."

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