Labrador mayor who was shot in face in hunting accident has died

John Hickey accidently shot himself while checking rabbit snares

The mayor of Labrador’s largest community has died after he was shot in the lower face while hunting alone on the weekend near the Trans-Labrador Highway.

The town council in Happy Valley-Goose Bay issued a statement Friday saying John Hickey was surrounded by his family when he died late Thursday at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mayor Hickey’s family at this very difficult time,” the town’s deputy mayor, Wally Andersen, said in a statement.

“This is a sad time for our community, and we urge all residents to respect the privacy of Mr. Hickey’s family and to remember them in their thoughts and prayers.”

Provincial Speaker Perry Trimper has said Hickey was out alone Saturday with a shotgun checking rabbit snares when he was shot in the face.

Hickey managed to get on a snowmobile and reached a nearby highway to flag down help. It took a “superhuman” effort for Hickey to reach the highway, Trimper said in an earlier interview.

Hickey was airlifted to St. John’s on Sunday for surgery, but the mayor was not able to say exactly what happened.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball issued a statement on Twitter, saying: “John was known as a fighter in politics, and always fought for Labrador. We will miss him.”

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