msnbc.com news services
updated 10/22/2011 3:55:58 PM ET 2011-10-22T19:55:58

A California member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves was shot and killed in Oregon after authorities say a hunter mistook him for a bear.

Christopher A. Ochoa, a 20-year-old from French Camp, Calif., and his friend, Raymond Westrom, 53, were hiking through a field in Western Oregon on the way to Silver Creek Falls Park on Friday evening. Ochoa was wearing dark-colored clothing.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office says a 67-year-old Oregon man hunting for bear with his 12-year-old grandson saw something moving in the brush and fired one shot from a .270-caliber rifle, striking Ochoa.

The sheriff's office says the hunter, Gene Collier, hasn't been charged, but turned the case over to the local district attorney's office.

Ochoa was alive when deputies arrived, but died at the scene.

Ochoa and Westrom had traveled to Salem to do work on a house before their hiking trip, Ochoa’s family told investigators, The Oregonian reported.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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