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.
The grandfather said the first shot was loud and hit the pond directly in front of them. He claims he yelled that there were people down at the pond and then there was a second shot that killed the grandson.
From that, I would say the child and grandfather were directly downrange from the shooter. Worse yet, the two should have been seen and heard by the idiot doing the shooting.
So sad and tragic.
What?!? The critical issue is whether the officer reacted in a reasonable manner. Did he employ appropriate force? When he decided to discharge his firearm, did he act in a responsible manner?
The property owner should have been able to take care of such a simple thing as killing a snake.
Probably true. However, that in no way mitigates the officer's actions. The two are totally unrelated.
Having brought up the issue of individual responsibility v. government assumption of risk abatement...the officer would seem to not have been at fault.
Those two statements are directly at odds. If we are to enforce individual responsibility, then we must hold this individual responsible for his negligent actions.
I strongly disagree. An officer fired his weapon in the absence of an imminent threat to human life. That shot killed a child. That the bullet could pass through the thin plywood of a house roof is something the cop should have foreseen.
I'm not saying tat the cop is criminally liable -- i don't know a lot of detail, but I'm leaning toward the position that he isn't -- but the folks in charge should look at this event and rethink their procedures to make sure that it doesn't happen again.
it's a training issue.
Know your target and what is beyond !
And OBTW a shotgun with bird-shot would have been more appropriate.
The story keeps changing, first version had the snake hanging out of a bird house in the yard.
I forgot about those. My Dad used to shoot water moccasins with one those while wade/fishing for large mouth bass.
Sounds like a “hold mah beer - hey watch this” moment ....... In the boonies we carried capture poles for bad doggies and sniks etc etc ...... I think the post above about the LEO in the attic shooting at vs up towards the snake is the plausible scenario that killed the kid.
Mythbusters did a show on falling bullets , projectiles fired from handguns and pretty much proved a hit from a round dropping from the sky , fired from the ground , hasn’t enough force to kill or seriously injure. I’d suggest from here on the couch with information provided this was a horizontal high velocity hit vs vertical artillery impact.
Stay safe !
The grandfather also said the bullet went into the back of the boy’s head and out his forehead. I don’t know as much about guns as others, but that doesn’t sound like it’s likely to be a ricochet. It sounds like a straight shot.
I saw the change too. Now the bird house was on the porch and the snake was in the rafters of the house. Either way is was a chicken snake or a rat snake, both harmless, but not a rattle snake.
“..lacks sufficient mass at terminal velocity..”
I hope that you are not saying that the mass of the bullet changes at terminal velocity.
>But, if the facts were as described, the officer would seem to not have been at fault.<
If you as a civilian had done the same thing, would you be at fault? Yes or no?
This cop did a stupid,stupid,thing. At the very least he should be fired from the force.
To clarify, the Mythbusters demonstrated that a bullet fired straight up will not fall back to Earth with enough force to cause serious harm. That is, a bullet that exhausts all of its momentum and is propelled by gravity alone. Those bullets tumble, and are slowed greatly by air friction. They have a relatively low terminal velocity, and if one conked you on top of the head, you'd say "ow."
But go a few degrees off vertical, and you're not dealing with a falling body any more. You have a projectile in a ballistically-stable arc, still spinning from the rifling in the barrel, and still retaining some momentum form the powder charge that fired it. Those are the bullets that frequently injure innocent bystanders, sometimes as far as two miles from where the shot was fired. The Mythbusters addressed that, too, not with an experiment but in interviews with an ER doc and a review of the medical literature.
You need a new school.
The last snake I had to mess with, a diamondback, I used a hoe. (The garden tool!)
Most homes that have a lawn probably have a hoe or rake somewhere.
I suppose I’ve dealt with more snakes than many folks. I’ve never seen a rattler climb much of anything, let alone bird house poles and rafters. Moccasins will crawl out a limb and bask, but horizontal trees are easy.
Someone is covering butt here, and not very good at it.
The facts will come out when a claim against the home owners insurance prompts a pro investigation.
“Only trained law enforcement officers are qualified to use firearms.”
The other article said the snake was ascending some type of bird house.