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Survivor Testifies About Hunter Shootings

Kevin Harter and Lee Egerstrom, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Sept. 12

HAYWARD, Wis. — Terry Willers, a survivor of Wisconsin deer hunting shootings that left six dead and two wounded last November, took the stand today in the Chai Soua Vang murder trial to recall his version of the event.

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Chai Soua Vang, 36, is a truck driver from St. Paul. He’s been charged with murder in the six deaths and three counts of attempted murder for shooting three times at two others in the hunting party.

Willers said he was on his way back to the hunting cabin when he saw someone in a tree stand. He called back to the cabin on his two-way radio to and asked if anyone was out there or should be out at the tree stand.

Told no, Willers said he approached the tree and asked what hunting party the intruder was with. Vang “mumbled something” and started to climb out of the tree. At that point Willers said he told Vang he was trespassing and said to leave.

As Vang began to leave, Willers said he told him he needed a plat book of the area. He then used his two-way radio to contact his hunting party at the cabin and told them he had “gotten rid of the trespasser.”

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Willers said Crotteau yelled, “We’ve got his tag number. We’re going to call your numbers to the sheriff for trespassing.”

But as Vang walked away, Willers said, the St. Paul hunter took his gun off his shoulder and “started to bring it around.” Willers said he removed his own rifle from his shoulder and yelled, “Don’t shout at me, you (s.o.b.).” He ran as fast as he could and drove to the ground, and heard one shot go past him before being shot.

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Original article

(Posted on September 13, 2005)

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