Skip to comments.Five-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Struck By Stray Bullet (Which was fired by cops)
Posted on 08/05/2007 6:29:48 AM PDT by LouAvul
Noble, Oklahoma - A five-year-old boy is dead after a tragic mistake in which a stray bullet, meant to kill a snake, struck the boy.
It happened Friday night in Noble, about 100 miles southwest of Tulsa in Cleveland County. Officers had responded to a rural area after a family called about a snake.
Noble City Manager Bob Wade says the snake was apparently in the rafters of a home and that officers decided to shoot the snake. But, when they did so, they later heard the boy screaming.
The boy, who was apparently fishing at a nearby pond, had been struck by the gunfire. The boy was airlifted to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead. He was identified Saturday evening as Austin Haley.
Noble City Manager Bob Wade says he is 'devastated' by the tragedy. Meanwhile, the officer who fired the shots has been placed on routine administrative leave while the investigation continues.
But, from the story, the police shot up into the ceiling. The bullet went through the roof, reached its apex and then began its descent. And by the time it reached the child, it had enough velocity/energy to kill the child.
That's just so bizarre. It's bizarre because my college physics teacher said that a free falling bullet lacks sufficient mass at terminal velocity to do much damage.
Standard procedure is the SHOOT A SNAKE OUT OF THE RAFTERS?
What a f-ing moron.
The cop should be facing jail just like we would.
Has to be a ricochet...
Either way, shooting a snake with a pistol is not a good idea in a confided space especially if it was not a life threatening situation.
Why not just blow it out of the rafters with a 4/10 and birdshot?
May God help the family of this little boy.
Even if I could nail the beast I would be concerned about the round passing though and ricocheting around.
How very strange. Poor little boy.
tell this lady about that.
It might not have been straight up, but at an angle and "lobbed" into the kid's chest, head or belly.
Sad case. Shotguns are the best for snakes...little .410 with bird shot.... or just a stick and jam its head off.
True if the bullet flies straight up, runs out of momentum, and then falls straight down, powered only by gravity. Not true if the bullet flies in an arc, still spinning and on a stable trajectory, still with momentum from the powder load that fired it.
Or even a standard-issue sidearm and rat-shot. That's what my dad used to carry on long hikes in the woods, precisely for use against snakes -- and in that case, he'd be firing down into soft earth.
This is a classic case of a scenario not covered in training and a cop who didn't think it all the way through.
Regardless, the officer was criminally negligent and should face charges.
I can’t imagine it. I get snakes around my acreage but even with no near neighbors I always calculate where my bullet might go, like glancing off water surface, for example. I blew the head off a cotton mouth in my front yard with a 22 rifle, after I got my dog and cat inside. I was aiming down, no chance to go into pastures, etc. And I am a dumb female with no firearms training.
It's not mass, but energy, I think you mean. And they explored this on Mythbusters a while back too. The conclusion was it was unlikely a free falling bullet would be lethal.
But I can imagine a missed shot, because he wasn't likely shooting "straight up" or even nearly so, remaining in a ballistic trajectory until it hit something, and it's unfortunate the child was in that path.
I'm not going to be judgmental here, not knowing all the circumstances. It certainly appears there was a negligent use of the weapon here, though it's not hard to imagine the mindset that would have allowed it.
The lesson, be certain of what's beyond your target, probabilities are not reliable. Oh - and use the proper weapon and ammunition.
And you believed him/her?
One more reason college professors should be fired and institutionalized. Sheeeeez. Here in Tucson, AZ it is illegal to fire your guns into the air precisely for the reason this little boy has tragically died. Over the years several people here in Tucson have died or been severely injured because of lead falling from the sky after morons found it fun and funny to shoot rounds into the air during their 4th of July, Cinco de Mayo and other celebrations.
I was always taught that you do not shoot your weapon towards anything if you don't have a pretty good idea where the bullet is going to rest.
Prayers to the child's family.
The critical issue on which this case should, IMHO, turn is whether the snake was poisonous. Such a snake could easily become a threat to health and/or life of the property owner.
The property owner should have been able to take care of such a simple thing as killing a snake. Second Amendment, anyone?
But, for whatever reason, the cops were called, resonded in what seemed a reasonable manner, and dealt with the snake by sending it to the Great Snake Hole In The Sky.
Unfortunately, a freak accident killed the boy. To blame or charge the officer would, again IMHO, be accepting the Nanny State ASSumption that it is teh role of the government to keep us safe from all harm.
The goverment isn’t G*D. We are Americans, and much of what the government does it should not be doing. Shooting snakes is one of them.
Having brought up the issue of individual responsibility v. government assumption of “risk abatement”, nothing I or anyone else can say will diminish the loss that family suffered.
But, if the facts were as described, the officer would seem to not have been at fault.
Four during the recent Asia Cup celebrations. But you don't have to go to the Middle East for that stuff -- there have been enough cases in cities like Dallas and New Orleans that those cities run TV ads in the weeks leading up to New Year's Day warning against celebratory gunfire.
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