On Wednesday, a woman was fatally shot while walking her dogs near her home when the son of a neighbor fired a single-shot pistol in her direction after mistaking her for a deer. According to the local sheriff’s department, Rosemary Billquist, 43, was approximately 200 yards away from Thomas B. Jadlowski when he fired the round.
When Jadlowski, 34, heard a scream, he realized he might have made a mistake and rushed in the direction of the sound. Upon finding he had shot Billquist, Jadlowski called 911, and paramedics transported her from Sherman, New York to a nearby Erie, Pennsylvania hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
According to Sgt. Josh Ostrander of the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Jadlowski “was in shock and disbelief” after the shooting. “He was definitely having a hard time,” Ostrander added.
Jamie Billquist, Rosemary Billquist’s husband, told CNN that his wife of 27 years “was an amazing person that would do anything for anyone.” He added that she loved Stella and Sugar, her two Labrador retrievers.
Ostrander stated that he believed that, when she was shot, Billquist was on a neighbor’s property. It is also thought the shooting took place after sunset, as Jadlowski had said it was about 5:25 pm when he fired the shot.
According to Ostrander, New York state law prohibits hunting deer after sundown.
“It’s the responsibility of the hunger, you have to know when sunset is,” said Sheriff Joe Gerace, “and plan your day so you can get out of the woods before that time.”
Jadlowski has cooperated with local authorities during the investigation and has not been charged with a crime at this time. However, according to Ostrander, the criminal investigation is ongoing.
Officials from the Department of Environmental Conservation are also involved in the investigation, as the incident is considered a hunting-related shooting.
According to Jamie, Billquist was employed at a hospital in Jamestown and frequently volunteered at homes for the elderly and hospice care facilities.
In a Facebook post, Jamie wrote, “I will miss you and love you forever and I know you’re dancing in heaven with your momma and all of our friends and family that we have lost.”