Local Fire Chief Killed While Hunting

December 5, 2011 Updated Oct 23, 2013 at 4:29 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Kyla Igoe

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December 5, 2011 Updated Oct 23, 2013 at 4:29 PM EDT

Stockton, NY (WKBW)- The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department is now investigating the death of 33-year-old Jeffrey Roberts of Sheridan. Roberts was found shot to death near a rest area on Route 60 in the Town of Stockton around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Investigators say Roberts was hunting with friends and family and had bagged a deer, but lost contact with his group in the afternoon. Roberts was the Sheridan Fire Chief and served the Sheridan Fire Department for the past 10 years. Fellow firefighters say he was a passionate and dedicated firefighter.

"He was very active and he worked his way up from firefighter to chief in a short time," said James Crowell, Sheridan Board of Fire Commissioners Chairman. "He was very industrious, skillful, and so knowledgeable."

"I had the privilege to teach him and he was a quick learner. He was very well respected by all the members of this department," added Ron Keddie, Sheridan Board of Fire Commissioners Member.

The 33-year-old leaves behind a wife and 2 young children. Police are now trying to figure out exactly what happened, but say Roberts' own gun was not responsible. Autopsy results are not in yet.