Georgia Youth Dies from Pellet Gun Blast to Chest

A Waycross Georgia mother thought a pellet gun was just a toy until her son was killed. An 11-year-old boy was at a sleep-over Friday night with two other boys at the football coach’s home when he was shot in the chest with a .177-caliber pellet gun. He was transported to Satilla Regional Medical Center where he died about an hour later. Our deepest condolences go out to the young boy’s family at this time. So many think that what is essentially a toy can do no harm. So unfortunately we have all found out otherwise.

The boys were reportedly playing PlayStation 3 video game when one of the boys picked up the loaded pellet gun and pretended to shoot it. Then the next boy, a12-year-old, took over the rifle and pointed it at the 11-year-old, shooting him point blank range in the chest.

As of Tuesday, District Attorney Rick Currie says no criminal charges will be filed in the death of the boy. That’s because no child under the age of 13 can be charged with a crime in Georgia, they can only be charged with committing a delinquent act.

Police report that the boys first tried to stop the bleeding themselves before calling the two adults watching television in the next room. They then called 911 while the adult tried to stop the bleeding and performed CPR. The paramedics had no idea the boy was shot. All they had been told was, “He can’t breathe,” and took that to mean that the boy was having an asthma attack.

In fact, the paramedics didn’t know that the boy was bleeding and had been shot until they got him to the hospital, which is incredible considering the amount of blood that must have been present.

The young boy’s mother says she can’t believe her son is gone and that she had so looked forward to him growing into a man: “I worked really hard on him.”

The boy’s father said he’s dealing with pain and frustration, still trying to come to grips with what happened to his son, an honor roll student at Ware Magnet School where he played on the youth football team.

Friends can’t believe the law in Georgia is so limited. One woman gathered with the family Monday and said, “There has got to be something that can be done…somebody needs to be held accountable; the children, the adults who were there.”

So many questions need to be asked. Did the delay in response lead to the boy’s death? Was CPR performed, if so it might have increased the bleeding? And last, but certainly not least, where was the adult supervision that would have prevented this tragic accident?
The .177 pellet gun has a similar ballistics to a .22 and can produce a velocity in excess of 900 ft. /sec.

The same caution needs to be taken with these newer model pellet guns as would around any firearms. Keep them away from children, safely handle, transport, and store the gun, never aiming it at anyone.

It may look like a toy but do we really need the death of a fine young man to prove it isn’t? Again our condolences go out to the young boy’s family for their loss.

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