In a strange stroke of bad luck, Larry McElroy attempted to kill a pesky armadillo that wandered onto his property in Leesburg, Georgia, and unintentionally shot his mother-in-law in the back from approximately 100 yards away. The bullet ricocheted off of the armadillo’s tough hide and traversed multiple obstacles before stopping inside Carol Johnson’s trailer, where she sat. McElroy used a 9mm pistol to shoot the small animal, never intending to harm his beloved mother-in-law in the process.
According to the Star, police officers arrived on the scene of the shooting Sunday night and found 74-year-old Carol Johnson with a bullet in her back. When asked about the incident, James McElroy stated that he was simply trying to kill the armadillo and the bullet ricocheted off of the animal’s back and came to a stop in his mother-in-law’s back.
Police investigator Bill Smith spoke with WALB News 10 about the situation and he reported that the entire incident was strange.
“Just the circumstances, just all the way around, the whole situation was unusual,”
When McElroy shot his 9mm gun at the armadillo, the bullet killed the creature and ricocheted off of its back. The bullet then hit a fence and changed trajectory towards his mother-in-law’s trailer where it shot through the back door, made its way through the back of her recliner, and stopped in her back. Although Carol Johnson was sitting in the recliner when she was shot, she was up and walking when police arrived.
“She was walking around on her own power and talking,” said Smith. “It didn’t appear to be too severe. They took her to Phoebe North [hospital].”
County officials recommend shooting armadillos instead of capturing them in traps, especially with their direct link to leprosy in humans. However, shotguns are the recommended weapon of choice, in order to avoid situation such as this one.
Bill Smith states that shotguns are always the best option when shooting an armadillo and other small animals.
“I really think if they’re going to shoot at varmints and whatnot, maybe use a shotgun.. with a spread pattern with a lot less range,”
No charges are expected to be filed in the case. The entire incident is being blamed on bizarre circumstance.
Carol Johnson’s wound was non-life threatening and she is expected to make a full recovery.
[Photo Courtesy: Sky News]