FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- Investigators found a hunter they believe fired the bullet that struck an off-duty Minnesota trooper Sunday afternoon.
Charles Backes, 32, said he was driving on Highway 9 west of Benson, Minn., when a bullet came through his vehicle's window and struck him in the neck.
Minnesota State Patrol spokesman Kevin Smith said investigators now think the shooting was accidental, but questions remain.
"You're not supposed to fire in the direction of a road, but they'll look at that to see if the hunter knew even if there was a road there or if they believed they were far enough away for it to not be an issue, all those types of things," he said.
The hunter, whose name wasn't released, told investigators he was firing at a deer from a kneeling position and couldn't see the highway at the time. The slug may have traveled about 500 yards and was probably near the end of its trajectory when it hit Backes, Swift County sheriff's deputy Joel Koch said.
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