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.
In the case of the .45-70 there are documented cases of lethal shots at well over a mile. In Afcrapistan some Canadian snipers wacked a guy at at 1375 Meters. Fire those weapons straight up and they could do some damage due to the weight of the bullet. But a 38 caliber or a 9mm have very little force when acted upon by gravity.
BTW the penny off the Empire State building killing someone is also not true.
Oh BS. The snake, poisonous or not, didn't present an immediate threat to human life. Cops can't just blast off rounds into the unknown world, because of a damn snake----venemous or not.
The argument, as presented, doesn’t make sense. Just because the bullet has lost its forward momentum doesn’t mean it’s lost its spin any more than a bullet fired at an angle.
I have a small (24", I think) tanto sword that I found for ten bucks. It's easier to carry and easier to use than a machete, and serves the same function, cutting down the ivy in the yard and hacking through brush in the woods.
It hasn't met a snake yet, but I have faith that it would get the job done.
My dad grew up in Florida, and his sangfroid around snakes wowed me twice when I was a kid. Once, we were running out to play in the back yard, and he held out his arm and waved us back.
He picked up the BB gun on the porch, pumped it 7 or 8 times, shouldered, aimed and fired. I didn't see the copperhead about 30 feet away until I saw its head explode. Dad picked it up, and as he carried the two-foot carcass back to the garbage can, told us we could go play. We did, after standing there slack-jawed for a minute.
The second time was at Sea World. A snake slithered across one of the paved trails in the park, clearing a path as people jumped back, some of them squealing. Even I could tell that it was a black racer, and harmless. it hid under a push-cart selling ice cream, and the kid with the push-cart jumped back.
Dad calmly walked over, pulled the cart aside, and in one deft motion swept his hand under the snake and pinned its mouth shut between his thumb and forefinger. It wasn't venomous, but a bite still hurts.
By this time, some more park employees had showed up to investigate the commotion. Dad held the wriggling snake and asked, "where should I put this?" They pointed, and Dad tossed the snake over a fence. It slithered off, no doubt with a new resolve to avoid further human contact.
Sorry mad_as_he$$ but you don’t know what you are talking about. A grain of sand can be “lethal” if it hits the right person in the right place.
From yesterdays post this is different, it was a populated subdivision, the shots was at a snake on a porch, and the cops were only about fifty yards from kid. He was hit in the head and the cops walked by the boy and left. He died in his grandfathers arms, and the kid never had a chance to scream. Two cops need to spend a long time in jail.
In hindsight it would have been better to simply burn down the house.
Yes it's covered its called never pull and discharge your weapon, unless it is a life threatening situation, but then cops are not known for being real high IQ types.
A BB (or pellet) gun would do the trick nicely.
One of those forensics shows on cable looked at a case of a kid at an air rifle competition who suddenly dropped dead. They found a 9mm bullet in his brain. He was at an indoor range surrounded by people, and no one saw a thing out of the ordinary. There were no firearms -- just air rifles -- in the building.
The investigators found the hole in the skin of the building -- basically an aluminum quonset hut -- and used lasers to track the bullet back to its origin. They concluded that someone at the nearby outdoor range was a lousy shot, or his weapon had double-fired -- the range was not up to spec, and the stray round passed through a tiny gap between the earthen berm and the wooden baffles where they should have overlapped.
Lesson #1: One-in-a-million does not mean impossible. If you're talking about a firing range where thousands of rounds fly each day, calling an event "one in a million" is just a measure of how often it will happen. As they say, if you're a one-in-a-million kind of guy, there are 1,200 folks in China just like you.
Lesson #2, as you point out: always, ALWAYS, check your backstop.
Kinetic energy is mass times speed squared. So the mass is relevant, especially as Lou specified, *at terminal velocity.* Plus, a projectile with a higher inertial mass has more oomph to overcome wind resistance, and will therefore have a higher terminal velocity.
Mythbusters tested the falling bullet myth with everything from a .22 to a 9mm to a 30-06 (M1, I think); I wouldn't like to be hit on the head with a falling .50 cal. It might not be lethal, but I bet it would leave a mark.
In simpler terms, if you're on the sidewalk and I'm gonna drop something on your head from five stories up, would you prefer a tennis ball or a bowling ball?
Looking at how often I’ve seen stories get reported wrong by TV news in Oklahoma I’d lean towards the birdhouse version of the story. The Oklahoman gets stories wrong too, but they tend to spend more time trying to get the facts than the TV guys do.
Terminal velocity is terminal. No way a grain of sand falling straight down cause ANY injury. YOU are disputing thousands of physics lectures going back hundreds of years. Mythbusters spent lots of time on both these myths and found no credible scientific EVIDENCE in either case They are just the latest with electronic transmission. They even revisited the bullet one because of mail pressure from people like you who have a basic understanding of physics.
As an object accelerates downwards due to gravity, the drag produced by the passing through a fluid medium, (usually air), increases. At a particular speed, the drag force produced will be equal to the downward force, mostly the weight (mg), of the object. Eventually, it plummets at a constant speed called terminal velocity. Terminal velocity varies directly with the ratio of drag to mass. More drag means slower terminal velocity. Increased mass means higher terminal velocity. An object moving downwards at greater than terminal velocity (for example because it was affected by a force downward or it fell from a thinner part of the atmosphere or it changed shape) will slow until it reaches terminal velocity. For example, the terminal velocity of a skydiver in a normal free-fall position with a closed parachute is about 195 km/h (120 mph or 54 m/s). This velocity is the asymptotic limiting value of the acceleration process, since the effective forces on the body more and more closely balance each other as it is approached. In this example, a speed of 50% of terminal velocity is reached after only about 3 seconds, while it takes 8 seconds to reach 90%, 15 seconds to reach 99% and so on.
Now before you call me ignorant again. PROVE IT with scientific EVIDENCE. Where does your physics come from Wal-Mart?
The Daily Oklahoman version contains quotes from many of the people involved, including the grandfather that was with the boy when he was killed by the second shot. The first one hit the water in front of the boat dock they were fishing from. It sounds like the bird house was hanging from a rafter on the outside of the house. The policeman might have been on the porch shooting down or across at it. The pond was downhill from the house.
Bullets "flying through the sky," not "falling from the sky."
The statement that a falling bullet lacks the energy to be lethal is like advice from Microsoft technical support -- technically accurate but more or less useless. [*] Technically correct because a falling slug simply does not have enough kinetic energy to be lethal. More or less useless because the kind of stupid drunken yahoos who treat firearms as party noisemakers are unlikely to hang a plumb bob and be careful to fire straight up.
A few degrees off plumb, and you're no longer talking about something going up and faling down -- you're talking about something following a ballistically-stable arc, and that's a whole 'nother animal. They can and do kill.
* - Semi-old joke: A helicopter pilot is surprised by a sudden fog bank and a sudden instrument failure. Flying slowly and looking for a safe spot to land, he sees a high-rise with people inside. Digging around in the back, the passenger grabs a piece of poster board and a marker (just go with it), and writes, WHERE ARE WE?
The people in the building signal that they have received the message, wheel over a white board, and write on it 'YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER."
The pilot nods, flicks the controls, and has the copter safely on the ground five minutes later. The stunned passenger asks, "how did you do that?" The pilot answers, "The folks in the building gave us an answer that was completely correct and utterly useless. From that, I knew we had to be on the Microsoft campus, and the Redmond airport is a few miles due east of there."
(I don't even know if there's really a Redmond airport, so folks who know Washington State geography, please take it easy on me.)
“Shannon’s law refers to specific changes in Arizona statutes, enacted in 2000, making it a felony offense to discharge firearms randomly into the air, resulting in injury or death.”
Phoenix had a terrible problem with celebratory gunfire on holidays. The last year before this law was passed I was afraid to go outside on New Years Eve. You’d have thought Saddam and his army lived in Phoenix.
Civil liability? Probably, and definitely a strong enough case that a judge or jury should hear the case. Criminally liable? Iffy. Negligent manslaughter at most, and that would depend on whether the court decides the harm was directly foreseeable. I wouldn't have fired under those circumstances, but I don't base my judgment on the least the law requires.
It's a bit different for a law enforcement officer. They have limited immunity against such claims -- we ask them to make life-and-death decisions in a split-second, and cover their butts in return.
For this cop, the question is whether he acted within state or department standards. If not, he could be liable. If so, and if the courts decide the standards are to blame, then it's the folks who set the standards who are liable.
An example of this is the choke hold. It used to be a standard police technique, and it was the department, not the cop, liable if someone happened to croak. Now, most (if not all) departments have stopped using it, the academies don't teach it, and if a cop kills someone with a choke hold, it's his own personal ass on the line. Though the department will probably be sued anyway.
True but it really depends on your position on the arc. If you were close to the end of the arc you could, theoretically, catch the bullet in your hand since it's speed is approaching zero.