A Tillamook man is facing manslaughter charges after shooting his hunting partner with an arrow, killing him.
However, the victim’s family says they’re not mad at the suspect. In fact, they want him freed from jail, with all charges dropped.
"[Shawn] has already been punished enough. He’s punishing himself by the fact that he took my brother, our friend,” said Vincent Cummings, victim’s brother.
Powerful words coming from a man who just lost his brother, Jeffrey Cummings.
Michael Shawn Pekarek, or just “Shawn” as his family calls him, is facing manslaughter charges after shooting Cummings with an arrow, killing him. It happened on a recent hunting trip to La Pine, Oregon earlier this week.
While mourning the death of their brother, the family is also concerned about the man behind bars, someone they also consider a brother.
“I’m not angry. There’s nothing to be angry about. I could never foresee any malicious act in any form from that man,” Vincent Cummings told Fox 12.
Investigators say Pekarek called 911 on Monday to report shooting his friend with the arrow. By the time first responders arrived, Cummings was dead.
“We don’t feel there should be any punishment for Shawn. He’ll be carrying this the rest of his life and that’s plenty of punishment for everybody,” said Derryl Cummings, the victim’s father.
Jeffrey’s father recalls the tight-knit relationship between the two hunting buddies, who tried bow hunting for the first time this year.
“Every vacation Jeff’s had in the past few years he’s gone out hunting or fishing with Shawn,” the victim’s father told Fox 12.
Both families say the close friends were inseparable and they wholeheartedly believe this was a freak accident. For now, they say they stand united.
“For us, we’re not angry, there’s nothing to be angry about. It’s a pure accident. There’s no reason to throw a man’s life away over an accident,” said Vincent Cummings.
Pekarek is due back in court in Deschutes County next week.
Both families say they plan to attend future court hearings in support of Shawn.
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