Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 06:38:08 :
Tuesday, December 28, 1954
Boy Accidentally Kills Father On Hunting Trip
Photographer Dies From Loss Of Blood
Jan Daniel deBruyn, San Rafael photographer, was accidentally shot to death with one blast of a .410 shotgun being carried by his 10-year-old son yesterday afternoon.
The two were returning to their car at about 3 p.m. after hunting birds in the hills behind Dominican Convent. Jan. J. was walking behind his father when the gun went off. The boy ran home about a half mile, then called police, but his father was dead when the United Ambulance arrived.
Coroner Frank Keaton said an autopsy will be held sometime today. Police said the photographer apparently died from loss of blood.
Funeral services are set for 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, San Rafael. Inurnment will be private.
The accident occurred on a narrow fire road about 150 yards from the deBruyn car, which was parked at the intersection of Margarita drive and Highland avenue.
When the boy ran home to 31 St. Francis Lane, about a half mile away, his mother Helen deBruyn was not there. He then telephoned San Rafael police, telling them he had just shot his father.
Sgt. Lincoln Borba and Officer Louis Foster met the boy waiting on the road in front of his house and rushed with him to the scene. When they approached the spot where the accident occurred, the boy ran ahead of the officers and started calling for his father. He did not reply. Police said the boy appeared bewildered and anxious but was not crying.
Inspector Nick Giampoli and Sgt. Jay Fletcher also arrived to investigate.
They noted a slight pulse on the victim, but when the ambulance arrived, deBruyn was dead. He was lying in the middle of the fire road, face down with a 16 gauge shotgun by his side. The boy’s .410 shotgun lay about six feet away.
Day Of Hunting
The boy told officers he and his father had been hunting most of the day and were returning to the car. He was walking directly behind his father, carrying the gun under his armpit with one finger on the trigger. He said he thought the safety catch was on and that he was looking at the ground when the gun went off.
DeBruyn Jr. said that immediately after the incident, his father told him to “go home” several times.
He said he had gone hunting with his father on numerous occasions and had fired his gun 17 or 18 times previously. Yesterday he had shot two robins, and his father had bagged one.
DeBruyn, a Marin photographer for about 30 years, formerly had a photo shop on Fourth street where Marcus Men’s Shop is now located. He had moved this year
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to another shop at 811 Fourth street.
Police said the shot did not go through the victim’s body, but he lost considerable blood.
In addition to his wife and his son, deBruyn leaves a daughter, Mrs. William Metzger of San Anselmo; a brother-in-law, Irvin T. Boop Jr. of Corte Madera; and his parents who live in Holland.
The family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Junior Museum of Marin.
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