Victim in Mont. grizzly attack was shot by friend

September 23, 2011 - 7:25 PM

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say a hunter attacked by a grizzly in a Montana forest was killed not by the bear, but by a gunshot fired by a companion trying to save him.

Lincoln County Sheriff Roby Bowe said Friday that 39-year-old Steve Stevenson of Winnemucca, Nev., died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. The cause of death was determined by the medical examiner with the Montana State Crime Lab.

The shot was fired by 20-year-old Ty Bell, also of Winnemucca, as he attempted to stop the bear's attack.

Bell had earlier shot and wounded what he thought was a black bear during a Sept. 16 hunting trip along the Montana-Idaho border. The two men tracked the wounded grizzly into thick cover, where it apparently turned on Stevenson.