Fresno, CA – A 10-year-old boy was accidentally shot and killed with a pellet gun. Authorities say he was riding his bike in the neighborhood when a playmate accidentally fired a pellet gun at the boy’s chest.
ABC10 News reported that the child was airlifted to the Community Regional Medical Center in Frensco and succumbed to his wound.
Sgt. Kathy Curtice, of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said:
“We believe right now that it was a pellet gun. That was the initial report to us. And the only type of weapon that we have seen at the scene so far has been a pellet gun.”
John Reynolds, also of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office declared:
“It was determined through this investigation that this was an accidental shooting that involved another juvenile friend of the victim, in what appears a case where the other involved juvenile did not believe the pellet gun was loaded with a pellet.”
People generally don’t consider the lethality of a pellet guns. They are seen more like toys even though they expel a metal or plastic projectile at high velocity. Injuries and accidental deaths associated with BB (ball bearing) guns and pellet rifles are not uncommon. Back in May 2010 11-year-old Dallas Barnes was accidentally killed by his 16-year-old uncle while playing with an air rifle.
Paintball guns also have the potential to cause serious injury. Paintball guns shoot a gelatin projectile containing non-toxic paint. In 2008, there were over 20,000 emergency room visits for injuries caused by air and paintball guns. The most common injuries associated with air and paintball guns included open wounds of extremities (37.3 percent); superficial injuries (36.0 percent) and open wounds of head, neck and trunk (23.4 percent). Eye disorders accounted for 4 percent of injuries for air and paintball guns. Four people die annually. Although that number is not high, it is avoidable and needless.
Firearm safety experts stress all types of guns, real or otherwise, should always be treated with respect. Assume the firearm is always loaded and never point it directly at anyone.