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Hunter's death stirs memories of shooting

January 08, 2007|From the Associated Press

GREEN BAY, WIS. — A Hmong hunter has been found dead in a wildlife area in a case that is stirring memories of a mass shooting that exposed racial tensions.

Cha Vang, 30, of Green Bay, was found dead Saturday morning, a night after he was reported missing in the Peshtigo Harbor Wildlife Area in northeastern Wisconsin. Investigators did not say how they think he died, but they said they were treating the case as a homicide. An autopsy is planned for today.

Authorities detained a Peshtigo man, James Nichols, 28, who showed up at a medical center Saturday with a gunshot wound, police said. He is considered a person of interest but was being held on a parole violation from an unrelated burglary conviction and had not been charged in Vang's death.

Dealings between the Hmong, an ethnic minority group from Southeast Asia, and the predominantly white residents of the mostly rural north woods have been on edge since November 2004, when Hmong immigrant Chai Soua Vang, 38, of St. Paul, Minn., killed six white hunters and injured two while trespassing in a private tree stand. He said he acted in self-defense after they shouted racial epithets, cursed at him and one fired a shot in his direction. The former truck driver is serving multiple life terms.

People at Green Bay Hmong Alliance Church were told of the death Sunday morning and their first thought was of the 2004 shootings, said Nao Vang, 60. "Some worry this could be retaliation," he said.

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