Former hunter safety instructor arrested for 13-year-old hunter’s shooting death.

August 8, 2017

Hoeker

Former hunter safety instructor arrested for 13-year-old hunter’s shooting death.

#OceanaCountyNews

HART — A 62-year-old youth mentor and former hunter safety instructor has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for the Feb. 18, 2017 shooting death of a 13-year-old Wyoming, Michigan boy who died while squirrel hunting near Hesperia.

Roger Erick Hoeker of Jenison, Michigan has been arrested in connection to the death, according to the Hart post of the Michigan State Police. Hoeker, who is a mentor with a youth outreach program called Christianity Outdoors, was also a Michigan hunter safety instructor, according to MSP.

“The investigation into the shooting death of 13-year-old William ‘Billy’ Gort, Jr. of Wyoming, while he was squirrel hunting on state

William “Billy” Gort, Jr.

land in southeast Oceana County on Feb. 18, 2017, has resulted in the arrest of Roger Erick Hoeker, 62, of Jenison for involuntary manslaughter,” states a press release issued by MSP Aug. 8.

“On Feb. 18, 2017, William ‘Billy’ Gort, Jr. was on a hunting trip with another teenage friend and Roger Hoeker who is a mentor with a youth outreach program called Christianity Outdoors. Roger Hoeker was also a Michigan hunter safety instructor. The teen hunters were hunting with shotguns, and Roger Hoeker was hunting with a small caliber rifle. During this hunting trip, Roger Hoeker discharged his rifle where William ‘Billy’ Gort, Jr. was struck in the head and died of his injuries. Orange hunter safety attire was reported to have been worn at the time of the shooting.”

The shooting occurred near East Cleveland Road and 192nd Avenue in Greenwood Township, according to MSP.

Billy was transported to Hackley Hospital in Muskegon where he was later pronounced dead.

Billy, who was an avid hunter, was a student at Pinewood Middle School in the Kentwood school district.

“The investigation utilized resources and investigators from the Michigan State Police Sixth District Special Investigations Section, Michigan State Police Grand Rapids Crime Laboratory, Michigan State Police Canine Unit, Michigan State Police Aviation Unit, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Oceana County Sheriff’s Office, Hesperia Area Fire Department, LIFE EMS, Mercy General Health Partners Hackley Campus, and WMED Kalamazoo Pathology Department,” the press release states.

This story is copyrighted © 2017, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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