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Shooting of turkey hunters in Clay County still under investigation

By: Sarah Coop


Clay County Sheriff’s Department is still searching for clues as to what lead to the shooting of two turkey hunters earlier this month.

On Thursday, April 17, two men were shot by an unknown person while hunting in Clay County.  Brian Griffin, 28, was killed and Jason Roberts, 21, was injured and is still in UK hospital.

The sheriff’s deputies, along with police officers and members of the Department of Fish and Wildlife searched a home of a person they consider a person of interest last week.  Evidence was collected and is currently being analyzed at the KSP lab.  The name of the individual has not been released.

The shooting hits home with many Wayne County residents, who also spend a great deal of time hunting.

Josh Coop, a junior at Wayne County High School, is an avid sportsman, hunting until he gets his prize game. Josh talked about what he does to remain safe in the woods.

“I put on my orange hat and hold my gun properly, one hand on the stock and the other on the barrel, holding it closely to his chest,” Coop said.  “Plus, I always think before pulling the trigger because that bullet can’t be taken back once shot, so you have to know what you are shooting at is what you want to shoot at.”

Coop, who says he always surveys his surroundings before firing a shot, thinks the shooting seems abnormal.

 “It seems unusual that somebody could accidently shoot two people,” Coop added.

Coop says there are some practical things you can do to ensure your safety in the woods.

‘I think it’s always best to go hunting with a friend in case something goes wrong.  My motto is be safe, have fun, and don’t do anything stupid.”


The Hunter’s Safety Manual says these are the biggest mistakes hunters make.

  1. Judgment Mistakes- The majority of the people don’t make good judgments when they shoot. They don’t check in front of their target and will shoot something they don’t mean to shoot. Another thing they do is mistake people as game.
  2. Not Following Firearm Safety Rules- People don’t follow the safety rules that come with carrying a weapon. The proper way of carrying a gun is to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you actually shoot. This will ensure the safety of those around you.
  3. Not Enough Practice- The people who use weapons should really know their weapons and how to use them properly. Hunters should use guns frequently so they understand how the weapon works.
  4. Mechanical Failures- Sometimes your weapons fail you, so always keep your guard up while using them because you will need to know what to do with them if this happens.