|Updated: 12/02/2013 11:03 pm
||Published: 12/02/2013 10:50 pm
The bright horizon quickly faded Friday evening to darkness.
Nothing but woods, an open road and a hunter turned victim lying in it.
Screams led John Mason's father to him.
Bundled in hunting gear, his rifle by his side, he squirmed helplessly moments after being shot, twice.
These hunting grounds in Cherokee County, near Welling, became a crime scene.
John Mason's father tells FOX23, "It scared me to death, I was afraid he was gonna die."
Bill Mason says it happened around 6 o'clock that evening.
He remembers running to his son, John's side.
He helped him stagger a quarter mile to his truck, then rushed him to the hospital.
"If it's an accident, we can work with them," Bill Mason said.
Undersheriff Jason Chennault says whoever pulled the trigger didn't stick around.
He figures that person could've mistaken John for a deer.
"He was just shooting to kill something and he almost did," Bill Mason told FOX23.
Bill spoke with us from the hospital waiting room.
His son's two surgeries are fresh on his mind.
"He's uh, he's in bad shape," Bill Mason said of his son.
No one saw any faces, but Bill recalls seeing a red, four-door, Dodge pickup at the time of the shooting.
Investigators say it's a start and it could lead them to the person who landed John in the hospital.