Man shot, killed when mistaken for coyote in Alexander County

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) 

A man died in the hospital after he was reportedly mistaken for a coyote and shot while out hunting in Alexander County, deputies said. 

The incident happened around 5:52 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 on the Edd Burgess Road Extension in Taylorsville. 

According to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office, deputies located Michael Seth Marsh, 26, suffering from several gunshot wounds to the chest. Marsh was out hunting coyotes and had an electronic coyote call. Marsh was also found with a .12 gauge shotgun and a 22/250 Ruger American bolt action rifle that he was using to hunt, deputies said. 

Upon arrival, deputies also encountered a man that was helping render aid to Marsh. The man told officers that he heard coyotes screaming in the area. He also said he believed the coyotes had trapped something and he went to see what was happening. 

The man told deputies "he saw something that looked to him like a coyote that had trapped something in a tree." The man said he fired two shots at the "brown and grey movement" at the tree with a .223 hunting rifle.

The man reportedly realized he shot Marsh and called 911 for help. EMS responded to the scene and Marsh was transported to Wilkes Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The case and evidence is being reviewed by the DA's Office prior to any charges being filed.