• Carey Meitzler

One Arrested, One Dead Following Tragic Hunting Accident


A Pearl River, Louisiana man has been charged with negligent homicide following a hunting accident that occurred Saturday morning (Nov. 10) in the Honey Island Swamp.

Shortly after 8:00 a.m. deputies with St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the Honey Island Swamp in the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area in reference to man who had been shot by another hunter.

The victim, 23-year-old Zachary Swanson of Pearl River, and his friend, Donald Jones Jr., age 22, were hunting hogs in the Peach Lake area of the Honey Island Swamp Saturday morning. Jones told responding deputies he shot in the direction of a hog and accidentally shot his friend in the chest.

Jones immediately called 911 after realizing what he had done, but the area where the two men were hunting is only accessible by boat and therefore took emergency responders longer than normal to respond. Agents with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrived on the scene first at approximately 9:30 a.m.

While he was on the phone with emergency personnel, Jones rendered aid and performed CPR on his friend until emergency personnel arrived. However, the victim succumbed to his injuries. The body of the deceased has been turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office.

Upon interviewing Jones, STPSO detectives learned he was aware his friend was not wearing “hunter’s orange” and he did not know his friend’s location when he fired his gun at the hog.

An arrest warrant was secured for Jones’ arrest on the charge of Negligent Homicide, and he will be transported and booked in to the St. Tammany Parish Jail. The charge of negligent homicide covers “the killing of a human being by criminal negligence.”

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is also looking into possible violations.


Pearl River Communications

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