CHESTER -- The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has decided not to file criminal charges in the Saturday morning fatal shooting of a hunter, a shooting that police confirmed Thursday occurred when a son shot his father.
Whether any criminal charges will be filed in the death of Terry S. Lavergne, 53, of Warrensburg will be left up to whether the Warren County District Attorney’s Office wants to pursue a grand jury investigation, Undersheriff Shawn Lamouree said.
Police determined Lavergne was shot by his son, James Lavergne, 28, of Glens Falls. Another of the victim’s sons, Philip Lavergne, 22, of Queensbury, was hunting with his sibling and father, police said.
“Considering the circumstances of the incident, we’re not going to make a summary arrest and we felt it would be best to leave it up to the district attorney to take to the grand jury,” Lamouree said.
District Attorney Kate Hogan could not be reached for comment Thursday, but said Wednesday that her office was still reviewing statements and the 5 hours of videotaped police questioning of the alleged shooter and would determine after the review how to proceed.
The shooting happened just before 8:30 a.m. in woods off Fawn Ridge Road in Chester, a remote area of mixed state and private land near Potter Brook Road.
The three men were in a drive, trying to push deer out of cover during the last weekend of rifle hunting for deer in the Northern Zone.
Terry Lavergne was killed by a shot from a .308-caliber rifle that hit him in the torso, a shot fired by a gun equipped with a scope. The shot hit his femoral artery.
James Lavergne was on higher ground than his father, and his father was in brush wearing full camouflage clothing.
Police have not said how he came to fire into the brush and whether he mistook his father for a deer, but acknowledged that Terry Lavergne’s sons believed he was in a different area than where he was shot.
The Sheriff’s Office and state Department of Environmental Conservation investigated the shooting. The DEC said all three men had hunting licenses.
Police had not released the names of the two men who were with Terry Lavergne until Thursday as the investigation continued.
“It’s obviously a tragedy all around,” Lamouree said.
Funeral services were scheduled for Terry Lavergne at 7 p.m. today (Friday) at Alexander Funeral Home in Warrensburg. Calling hours are to be held from 5 to 7 p.m.