Accidental shooting victim's father has message for hunters


by JAMIE GREY / Idaho's NewsChannel 7

Posted on October 28, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 9:04 AM

CALDWELL, Idaho -- A Caldwell man is dealing with an indescribable pain:  His son was killed just days ago in an accidental shooting.  Now, he's thanking the community for their support and offering a cautionary message.

"If we can prevent anymore tragic accidents like this, that would be so awesome.  I don't want to ever hear about this again," David Clausen said.

Father places 'no blame'

Jason was with friends when he died last Friday night.

"The people that it happened with, we were always really good friends together," Clausen said.

Around 8:00 Friday night, Jason and his friends were cleaning up from a hunting trip when one of the boys nearly dropped a loaded shotgun.  The gun fired one shot, killing Jason instantly.

"There isn't no blame whatsoever.  It was just a freak accident that happened," Clausen said.

A message for hunters:  'Just be careful'

Jason's father says he hopes it's an accident that won't be repeated.  This hunting season, he urges everyone to think of this story and take extra care with guns.
"Just be careful.  You never know what's going to happen," Clausen said.  "Double check.  Get in the car, unload your rife, unload your handgun, whatever it is you have. Just make sure you're safe out there.  Double check everything because some accidents can be prevented."

A community comes together

In the days after Jason Clausen was killed in an accidental shooting, his father David Clausen has seen a community rally behind their family.

 "It's just unreal how much everybody cares about us.  It's just I wish I would have realized it before the tragedy.  I had no clue," Clausen said.  "I don't think I could get through it like we are, I don't think my family could get through it like we are, without [the community]."

A childhood friend says her last goodbye

If there's one thing everyone shares about Jason, it's that he loved being with friends.

"Him and his friends always did something together.  Whether it was hunting, baseball, fishing, swimming," Clausen said.

Melissa Stockdill was a childhood friend of Jason's.  She said she used to hold Jason's hand as the two walked to elementary school.  She also shared a favorite memory of the two going fishing with their mothers, Stockdill catching her first fish.

The day Jason died, she'd just reunited with him in person, after spending some years living in different towns.

"I was just really thankful that he came in and said hi and told everyone he loved them before he left," Stockdill said. "I gave him a hug, never knowing it would be the last one he'd ever give."

A look at Remington shotguns

Jason Clausen's father says he was shot with a Remington 870 shotgun.  He's doing a lot of research himself looking for any possible problems with the gun itself.
Just last week, CNBC did a feature story on the mounting concerns over the Remington 700.  That is a different model than the gun that killed Clausen.

The investigation revealed thousands of customer complaints and lawsuits linked to that specific gun.  Some claim the rifle has misfired without a finger being on the trigger.
Remington insists its guns are safe and has not issued a recall.  Again that's the Remington 700.  The gun that misfired in Caldwell was a Remington 870.

Donations for the family

For those interested in donations:  A family friend has set up an account for monetary donations for Clausen's family to use for expenses.  The donations account is at Key Bank; donors can ask for the Jason Clausen fund at any area Key Bank.