October 1, 2012
Man killed in 'freak' hunting accident, family says
By Danielle Bell, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - Family of a 22-year-old man shot and killed while hunting are reeling from what they describe as a freak accident.
The man, identified by family as Andrew Winnicki, was bird hunting with relatives on Sunday night in Osgoode, Ont., when he slipped on a muddy bank and accidentally shot himself, according to relatives.
Those who knew Winnicki are struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
"He wasn't shot by anyone," said Perry Dozois, adding the freak accident was hard to understand.
"Unfortunately, I think the only one who really knows (exactly what happened) is him."
The aspiring elevator constructor from Manotick, Ont., who had hunted for about two years, is the nephew of Dozois's brother.
Dozois's brother and his 14-year-old son were hunting geese with Winnicki at a sand pit near Dalmeny Rd. and 2nd Line Rd., a rural private property the family has had permission to hunt on for years.
Emergency crews responded at about 7 p.m. Sunday and Winnicki was rushed to the Civic Hospital. His parents rushed to the hospital from St. Catharines, Ont.
The death has traumatized Dozois' family, who is still coming to grips with the "tragic, silly and crazy" accident that killed Winnicki, his "good buddy," he said.
Several other relatives and family friends also told QMI Agency that Winnicki accidentally shot himself.
Police were at the area, which overlooks a pond, until about 4:30 a.m. Monday.
Dozois later had to remove Winnicki's truck and canoe from the scene.
Winnicki, who worked for Otis Elevators, was in his second year of an apprenticeship to become an elevator constructor, a field his brother is also in.
"He's going to be sorely missed," said Dan Vinette, business manager with the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 96. "He was a good kid. He was in my class."
Vinette said the union had received several condolence calls as the news made the rounds on Monday.
Other friends turned to social media to lament the "absolutely tragic loss" of the young man, known as "Diesel," and beloved for always having a good time.
Ottawa police said they are still investigating and will not elaborate on any possible circumstances surrounding the shooting, including whether it may have been accidental.
Major crime investigators have not been assigned to the case -- which would normally occur if police suspected foul play.