MDC Investigating, Counseling Offered to Students and First Responders
Knox County, Missouri - Knox County First Responders were called to the scene of an accidental shooting Sunday afternoon, November 17, 2019, off Highway Y in northern Knox County.
The call was dispatched at 1:09 p.m. and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Conservation and the Knox County Coroner responded to the call.
In a tragic hunting accident, 17-year-old Andrew Howe was found deceased at the scene.
“We’re assisting the Department of Conservation with the investigation. They will be the ones to release any information,” said Knox County Sheriff Allen Gudehus Monday morning.
A representative of MDC confirmed to The Edina Sentinel the incident is under investigation on Monday morning.
“We had a fatal hunting incident yesterday afternoon. This is what we classify as a shooter/victim incident. There was a shooter and a victim. Indications are that the victim could have been mistaken for game. The victim was located within a wooded area. The identified shooter was in an open field. The shooter was identified as Donald Howe, 75, of rural Knox County. The victim, Richard Andrew Howe, 17, also of rural Knox County. We have a process we go through to look at how the incident occurred, how it can be avoided in the future and if any wildlife codes were violated,” said Benny Pryor, Missouri Department of Conservation Protection Regional Supervisor out of the Kirksville office. “I would also like to add that hunter orange is required in the state of Missouri. The department would highly encourage everyone to wear hunter orange while hunting.”
Pryor declined to comment at this time on whether the victim was wearing hunter orange at the time of the incident.
According to Knox County R-1 Superintendent Andy Turgeon, counselors are available for any student who needs to talk following the unexpected death of a high school classmate over the weekend.
“We do have counselors in the building - our two and our behavioral specialist. We do have some on standby if we get overwhelmed. We did read a statement to the students this morning encouraging them to talk to counselors if they need it. Right now we’re walking the halls keeping an eye on the students making sure they have extra support if they need it,” said Turgeon Monday morning.
Mark Twain Behavioral Health has offered to debrief the group of emergency responders who responded to the call. It is unknown if individual agencies are taking advantage of that offer.
Emergency responders who feel they need to talk to someone or go through a professional debriefing are asked to call ERE Program Director Nicole Salmons directly on her cell phone at (660)956-3075 or Community Mental Health Liaison Kim Robinson at (660)956-3065. This service is offered at no cost to first responders or the agencies they serve.
This story was featured in the November 20, 2019 edition of The Edina Sentinel.