Gerald Aldrich, Hunter Accused of Killing Man He Thought Was Bear, Freed From Jail

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Gerald Aldrich's case is a tragic one. Although the investigation into his alleged crime is ongoing, and most of the details haven't yet come out, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone willing to say Aldrich intended to shoot and kill 25-year-old migrant worker Carlos Carrillo.

Aldrich was hunting with a friend in Mason County last Wednesday when he came upon what he thought was a bear. He fired one shot. Then, thinking he'd missed, he and his friend kept moving.

Carlos Carrillo was shot and killed after being mistaken for a bear.
It wasn't until later that evening, while watching the news, that Aldrich realized he'd actually hit something. That something was 25-year-old Carlos Carrillo, a migrant worker from Guatemala who had been out picking salal, a branch used in floral arrangements, when he was struck in the head and killed by the bullet fired from Aldrich's gun.

Aldrich turned himself in. And police say he's cooperating in every way possible. But there's still a decent chance he might end up in jail.

"I'm going to have to see why he did what he did, what the victim was doing, what the distances were -- all of what occurred," Mason County Prosecutor Gary Burleson told KOMO.

Aldrich is apparently an experienced hunter. And Carrillo was supposedly wearing all black the day he was shot. But regardless, Aldrich didn't identify his target before squeezing the trigger, something any hunter will tell you is rule number one.

If the prosecutor decides to go forward with charges, Aldrich could be facing felony second-degree manslaughter charges. For now, however, a judge has allowed him to leave jail without having to pay bail. Meanwhile, the wife, child and family Carrillo left behind are making arrangements to send his body back to his native country.

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