Rosemary Billquist, 43, had just taken her labs, Sugar and Stella, out for a walk when she hit by a single gunshot from a high-powered pistol. The hunter fatally mistook her for a deer.
Police said he was illegally hunting after sunset.
Billquist was rushed to a hospital in Erie, Pa., where she died, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office said.
He added: “Please everyone have thanksgiving with your family’s and enjoy those moments they are precious.”
Police said her neighbor Thomas Jadlowski, 34, believed he saw a deer in a field 200 yards away when he fired the deadly shot. The shooting took place 40 minutes after sunset — a violation of state laws forbidding hunting in the dark.
The hunter said he heard a scream and rushed to Billquist, calling 911 and applying pressure to her wounds, cops said.
“They tried saving her,” Jamie said. “It’s horrific. It will be with me for the rest of my life.”
Jamie said his wife was a devoted volunteer at Chautauqua Hospice and WCA Hospital. “She was always out to help somebody. She never wanted credit and was always quiet about it,” he said.
The couple had been together since 1990, when they met at the Chautauqua Mall. Rosemary was an avid runner and bicyclist and had completed at least 60 marathons, her husband said.
Charges have yet to be filed against Jadlowski, but an investigation is ongoing.
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