Joseph Wesley Hoffman, 34, of Morgan County, passed away Nov. 11 after being shot when another hunter’s gun accidentally discharged.
The incident occurred when Hoffman and the other hunter were retrieving their guns from the backseat of a four-door pick-up truck at opposite ends of the truck after arriving at private property in Jasper County. The incident is still under investigation.
Joe Wooten, a special agent with the GBI’s District 6 office located in Milledgeville, said, “The other hunter was retrieving a .243 hunting rifle that was on the backseat, and the rifle went off, striking Hoffman, who was on the opposite side of the vehicle. Hoffman was retrieving his rifle, as well.”
Hoffman was taken to Jasper Memorial Hospital in Jasper County. At the hospital, Hoffman was pronounced dead from the wound to his abdomen.
The hunting property where the incident occurred is located off Highway 16 between Eatonton and Monticello. The accident occurred around 5:45 p.m. According to GBI reports, the men were heading into the woods to check stands in preparation for a hunt the next day.
Wooten told GON that the GBI was requested by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office for assistance around 7 p.m. on Nov. 11. Wooten said the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office and DNR are involved in the pending investigation.
DNR Law Enforcement reported to GON that there’s only been one shooting fatality related to hunting this season.