Former Rowan County wildlife officer shoots, kills hunter

There are 20 comments on the Apr 14, 2009, Salisbury Post story titled Former Rowan County wildlife officer shoots, kills hunter. In it, Salisbury Post reports that:

NORTH WILKESBORO a ' State wildlife officials say a veteran officer who used to be assigned to Rowan County shot and killed a hunter in self-defense Saturday morning after a confrontation.

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RTurner

United States

#1 Apr 14, 2009
Why would a 76 year old grandfather in the woods with his son and 2 grandchildren want to get into a confrontation with a Game Warden.
I know from direct experience that some of these game wardens are really gung-ho in what they do that they act carried away. The biggest tool they use is suprise. They like to sneak around in the woods like a snake trying to catch someone. They will hide and try to see what you are doing. Then they will jump out when they have the element of suprise on their side.
Could this have been what Minton tried to do, slip up on Coffey and catch him by suprise, and doing so he may have startled Mr. Coffey in such a way Minton thought he was in imment danger.
It is just hard for me to believe that an elderly man cause Minton to believe he was in danger. Has he been taught to back off if things were getting out of hand. What did Minton say to Mr. Coffey to cause him to loose control, if in fact he did.
It is a crying shame that a Game Warden would let something like this get out of control enough so as to cause a man to loose his life over a durn turkey. Since when did the life of a turkey become more important than a human life.Where has common sence gone to in this world.
It does not make any difference what Minton thought, he was the one in authority and should have controlled the situation is a safe manor for all concerned.
The laws should be changed as to when all wardens go into the woods everyone be notified instead of them sneaking around like snakes.
TAX PAYER

United States

#2 Apr 14, 2009
RTurner wrote:
Why would a 76 year old grandfather in the woods with his son and 2 grandchildren want to get into a confrontation with a Game Warden.
I know from direct experience that some of these game wardens are really gung-ho in what they do that they act carried away. The biggest tool they use is suprise. They like to sneak around in the woods like a snake trying to catch someone. They will hide and try to see what you are doing. Then they will jump out when they have the element of suprise on their side.
Could this have been what Minton tried to do, slip up on Coffey and catch him by suprise, and doing so he may have startled Mr. Coffey in such a way Minton thought he was in imment danger.
It is just hard for me to believe that an elderly man cause Minton to believe he was in danger. Has he been taught to back off if things were getting out of hand. What did Minton say to Mr. Coffey to cause him to loose control, if in fact he did.
It is a crying shame that a Game Warden would let something like this get out of control enough so as to cause a man to loose his life over a durn turkey. Since when did the life of a turkey become more important than a human life.Where has common sence gone to in this world.
It does not make any difference what Minton thought, he was the one in authority and should have controlled the situation is a safe manor for all concerned.
The laws should be changed as to when all wardens go into the woods everyone be notified instead of them sneaking around like snakes.
Yes, Yes this is what I have said all along ! A TURKEY,Not another human !I just think they have way to much POWER ! But look out, they will hang you out to dry on here for Questioning their powers !
Antagonizer

Lenoir, NC

#3 Apr 14, 2009
Again, the life of a turkey is not worth more than most people, especially not the late Mr. Coffey. I would, however, take a turkey over you any day, Tax Payer.
wooduck

Hilton Head Island, SC

#4 Apr 15, 2009
may the faith and prayers of your friends and neighbors, comfort and keep you. we are holding you close.
NC Daddy

United States

#5 Apr 15, 2009
I know Mr. Coffey. I do not think he would hurt anyone. I believe the warden over reacted. It will be his word so no other witness. We will never know what really happened. The laws are wrong when a man can not hunt on his own land without having to worry about a game warden. The government has too much control over our lives. I am 65 years old and I can see a big change over my life time over how the government controls us. My thoughts and prayers are with the Coffey family
In Shock

Tampa, FL

#6 Apr 15, 2009
I can not believe that Mr. Coffey would have ever have done anything that would have threaten this game warden. I don't know how the game warden can live with the fact that he took a wonderful loving husband, grandfather and great grandfather away from his family and from the many friends that he had. I hope that the law enforcement in the community realizes what this really was, a game warden that acted without thinking and therefore took a life that was not justified. I also hope that for the sake of the family members left behind that this does not turn into a cover-up and that Mr. Coffey is allow to rest in peace.
gv4l

Granite Falls, NC

#7 Apr 15, 2009
I can't stand the mentality of the average grunt or cop! They love to think they're in the movies or video games. I bet this guy is an idiot, or maybe a sociopath. Any cops or grunts who don’t like what I am saying should think long and hard about their own mindset before being critical of my words. I have noticed that a large number of males who are interested in law enforcement and armed forces are not exactly the “thinking types”. I think that says something about our society, in that we are not too particular as to who we entrust to protect us from the so called criminals.
TAX PAYER

United States

#8 Apr 15, 2009
Antagonizer wrote:
Again, the life of a turkey is not worth more than most people, especially not the late Mr. Coffey. I would, however, take a turkey over you any day, Tax Payer.
Well good for you ! Again I say you must be a RABBIT SHERIFF! Not worth more than any one, even you. Its just wildlife.
RTurner

United States

#9 Apr 15, 2009
The shooting took place Saturday morning at about 7:30 AM. Saturday was the first day of Turkey hunting and the time was 7:30. It has been said that Minton was investigating baiting. Did some one tell him Saturday morning early or Friday or earlier. If he thought baiting may have been done, why did he not investigate it on Friday or earlier. He could have gone over to the place and talked to the land owner and warned him about hunting a baited field. Why did he rush over there first thing on Saturday morning. Was it because he was bound and determined he was going to catch someone he thought was hunting a baited field or was this his excuse for being there in the first place.
mac65

United States

#10 Apr 16, 2009
Antagonizer wrote:
Again, the life of a turkey is not worth more than most people, especially not the late Mr. Coffey. I would, however, take a turkey over you any day, Tax Payer.
This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. Wildlife officers have way to much power and they use it to the extreme. I imagine this mans kids and grandkids will never forget this confrontation, and it will haunt them for the rest of their lives. This officer needs to be imprisoned for murder. But that won't happen, he will get a slap on the wrist and be right back out there. Wonder who he will murder next.
mac65

United States

#11 Apr 16, 2009
In Shock wrote:
I can not believe that Mr. Coffey would have ever have done anything that would have threaten this game warden. I don't know how the game warden can live with the fact that he took a wonderful loving husband, grandfather and great grandfather away from his family and from the many friends that he had. I hope that the law enforcement in the community realizes what this really was, a game warden that acted without thinking and therefore took a life that was not justified. I also hope that for the sake of the family members left behind that this does not turn into a cover-up and that Mr. Coffey is allow to rest in peace.
I can pretty much guarantee you it will be a cover-up. Wildlife officers around this area have a macho complex. They will give him a slap on the wrist, when in all actuality, he needs to be in prison for murder. I just can't imagine a 77 year old man be such a threat that he has to be shot. Jesus, his poor family.
sheepdog

Kenly, NC

#12 Apr 16, 2009
mac65 wrote:
<quoted text>
I can pretty much guarantee you it will be a cover-up. Wildlife officers around this area have a macho complex. They will give him a slap on the wrist, when in all actuality, he needs to be in prison for murder. I just can't imagine a 77 year old man be such a threat that he has to be shot. Jesus, his poor family.
Oh my gosh! You are the missing eye witness the SBI has been looking for. The SBI covers up...oh dangit... I mean investigates all officer involved shootings. So you did see everything since you know the officer murdered the old man. Listen, you are one hot commodity. Stop what you are doing and call the Hickory office of the SBI immediately. Here, I got the number for you. Call and tell them everything you saw so they will be sure not to cover this one up. eight two eight, two nine four, two two two six. Idiot!
sheepdog

Kenly, NC

#13 Apr 16, 2009
mac65 wrote:
<quoted text>
I can pretty much guarantee you it will be a cover-up. Wildlife officers around this area have a macho complex. They will give him a slap on the wrist, when in all actuality, he needs to be in prison for murder. I just can't imagine a 77 year old man be such a threat that he has to be shot. Jesus, his poor family.
So you can't imagine a 77 year old to be such a threat, huh. Well, now that I think about it neither can I. You know I don't believe that 77 year old man threatened that officer at all. I'll bet that 12 gauge shotgun loaded with turkey shot leveled at the officer held by those 77 year old hands sure was threatening. Idiot.
In Shock

Tampa, FL

#14 Apr 17, 2009
sheepdog wrote:
<quoted text>
So you can't imagine a 77 year old to be such a threat, huh. Well, now that I think about it neither can I. You know I don't believe that 77 year old man threatened that officer at all. I'll bet that 12 gauge shotgun loaded with turkey shot leveled at the officer held by those 77 year old hands sure was threatening. Idiot.
So I guess you were there and saw the gun in the 77 year old hand, or could it possibly be that the older gentleman had placed his gun down at the base of the tree and the game warden still shot him???? None of us were there and we all have our own ideal of what happened there, but the shame of it all is that the family of Mr. Coffey will never really know what happened since they they will never get to hear both sides.
sheepdog

Kenly, NC

#15 Apr 17, 2009
In Shock wrote:
<quoted text>
So I guess you were there and saw the gun in the 77 year old hand, or could it possibly be that the older gentleman had placed his gun down at the base of the tree and the game warden still shot him???? None of us were there and we all have our own ideal of what happened there, but the shame of it all is that the family of Mr. Coffey will never really know what happened since they they will never get to hear both sides.
Uh no, wasn't there, I simply read the article. You're probably right. I'll bet he did place his gun down at the base of the tree. He had his hands up begging for his life and the officer drilled a slug between his eyes, just for the hell of it. These game wardens go around the woods murdering old men daily...track record for murdering old men. I'll even bet that officer had 12-14 old man murder convictions on his record when they hired him. I smell conspiracy...
Lone Ranger

Gastonia, NC

#17 Apr 17, 2009
The Game Wardens in Caldwell Couty - are good people. All 4 of my kids, have taken hunter safety from them (Clawson and Tucker). I've been checked by both of them in the field, and both of them have always bee professional and VERY courteous to me.

I can't say the same about Officer Belle (from Burke). He is overbearing, and very rude....

As for WilkesGW's, luckily I have never been checked in Wilkes (yet), but I am aware of another incident in Wilkes, where a citizen was beaten to a pulp by a wildlife officer's mag light. Then this incident with Mr. Coffey(which the grapevine has spread word previously, that Wilkes GW's are "Hard Core with an attitude")... so maybe the grapevine has it right after all (who knows).

Mr. Coffey's tragic death, I feel, was uncalled for. I pray for their family, and for the Game Warden as well - who will have to deal with his decision for the rest of his life....

I never knew Mr. Coffey, but have worked with 2 of his daughters (Linda & Debbie), and I know the son-in-law who was with him hunting.

I heard the son-in-law did not have bait out, and was checked before hand. I heard the son-in-law told the GW, that Mr. Coffey was hard of hearing, and to wait a moment for him to pack up and get the 4 wheeler, and he'd go with the GW.... but the GW left and didn't wait. By the time the son-in-law got there, Mr. Coffey was already dead.

There's so many rumors, that could be a factor as well... I heard the GW was in street cloths (and looked like a tresspasser), I heard the GW was in camo, and looked like a tresspassing poacher, and I heard he was in uniform.... so who knows....

It is a fact though, that Mr. Coffey has had issue with surrounding people tresspassing and poaching.... so Mr. Coffey may have been trying to run the GW off (thinking he was a tresspaser)... again, who knows...

Tragic story, tragic end.....

Prayer sent.
Just Wondering

Lexington, KY

#18 Apr 17, 2009
It IS tragic, Lone Ranger, and the saddest part is that the turkey (the potential catch) is probably still alive, and the human being isn't.
In Shock

Tampa, FL

#19 Apr 17, 2009
JUST BECAUSE YOU SIMPLY READ THE ARTICLE DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU KNOW THE WHOLE STORY. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW BECAUSE MR. COFFEY CAN NOT TELL HIS SIDE. I DO KNOW THE FAMILY AND THEY WERE RASIED IN A GOOD, LOVING HOME. MR. COFFEY PLAYED A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE IN ALL OF THIER LIVES.

AND TO YOU MR. sheepdog, I WOULD HOPE THAT YOU WOULD HAVE A LITTLE BIT MORE COMPASSION FOR A FAMILY THAT IS GOING THRU THIS HORRIBLE TRAGEDY. I WOULD NOT WANT TO THINK THAT THE GAME WARDEN SET OUT TO MURDER MR COFFEY,BUT MAYBE THIS WAS A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE INVOLVED WILL REMEMBER THE REST OF THEIR DAYS, I HOPE THAT THE FAMILY WILL FIND SOME COMFORT IN KNOWING THAT SO MANY PEOPLE DO CARE.
Randy Payne

United States

#20 Apr 17, 2009
I have been reading the forun. And have seen some good explanations of what may have happened. So I am going to speculate also.
It seems to me if the GW was threatened why did he not back off and get backup. He should have been taught to do this. Mr. Coffey was Turkey hunting. He didnt rob a bank, He didnt shoot anyone. He was not a wanted fugutive. What did he do to warrent being killed. It seems he was tried convicter and executed with due process of the law. I now wonder how many of his civil rights were violated. AS for Mr. Sheepdog, I wonder if he and Mr. Minton came from the same mold.
Randy Payne

United States

#21 Apr 17, 2009
Randy Payne wrote:
I have been reading the forun. And have seen some good explanations of what may have happened. So I am going to speculate also.
It seems to me if the GW was threatened why did he not back off and get backup. He should have been taught to do this. Mr. Coffey was Turkey hunting. He didnt rob a bank, He didnt shoot anyone. He was not a wanted fugutive. What did he do to warrent being killed. It seems he was tried convicter and executed with due process of the law. I now wonder how many of his civil rights were violated. AS for Mr. Sheepdog, I wonder if he and Mr. Minton came from the same mold.
Oops! I should have said "without due process of the law"

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