Hunter Thompson allegedly shoots Woody Creek woman
May 8, 2003
Author Hunter S. Thompson, Woody Creek’s most famous resident, apparently was involved in an accidental shooting at his property Thursday.
According to unofficial reports, Thompson accidentally shot Debra Fuller, 58, with a shotgun while he was shooting at a bear that had wandered onto his property. Fuller was treated and released from Aspen Valley Hospital.
Fuller has lived in a cabin on Thompson’s property and worked as his assistant for many years.
The shooting happened sometime early Thursday, although the exact time could not be obtained from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies would release no details about the incident because the case is said to be “under investigation.”
Fuller was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday and released at around 10 a.m., after unspecified treatment of what was said to be a relatively minor wound. She was reported to be in “good” condition, according to hospital personnel.
It could not be determined whether Thompson, 63, faces any criminal charges in connection with the incident. Neither Thompson nor Fuller could be reached for comment.
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Although District Attorney Mac Myers is reportedly looking into the case, he could not be reached Thursday.
Local authorities have reported human-bear encounters with increasing frequency in recent weeks, although it is not known if there have been particular reports of “problem” bears in Woody Creek.
Thompson has lived in the Woody Creek area for decades and is known to own a number of firearms – and to fire them occasionally.
He sparked national attention more than a decade ago when he reportedly fired a shotgun at an opponent’s ball while playing a round of golf on the Aspen Municipal Course. He was in the news another time when, during a political feud with Woody Creek trout rancher Floyd Watkins, he fired a shot near Watkins’ property. Thompson told authorities he was aiming at a giant killer porcupine.
And for a time he ventured into the art world, selling pieces he created by shooting holes in posters of everything from Mickey Mouse to a photo of the late J. Edgar Hoover, longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.