York County man accused of shooting, killing man he thought was a deer

Posted at 7:14 PM, Dec 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-20 21:01:16-05

York County, Va. - A 21-year-old York County man has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting another man by mistake after thinking he was a deer.

Reports of shots fired came in at 4:51 p.m. on Friday from the 1900 block of Lakeside Drive.

The victim, identified as 68-year-old David W. Ware Jr., was found with an un-fired shotgun in the marsh reeds near the home.

During their investigation, police learned that the suspect, 21-year-old Brandon Bartlett, shot Ware by accident thinking he was a deer.

It is believed that Ware was hunting a fox that had been killing chickens in the neighborhood, police say.

Bartlett has been arrested and charged with second degree murder. He is now being held in the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail without bond.

York-Poquoson Sheriff Danny Diggs stated the following regarding last night’s tragic events. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victim of last nights tragic shooting. Mr. Ware's death was completely avoidable and underscores the need of anyone using a firearm to follow the basic safety rules that include not shooting at anything you cannot see and identify.”