A 16-year-old Alabama teen was shot while performing a common high school prank. The teen was allegedly covering a yard in toilet paper, commonly known as “toilet papering,” with some other teenage friends when 64-year-old Ronnie Neeley caught them in the act. As the teens attempted to flee the scene, Neeley fired his gun at the teenagers, hitting one 16-year-old boy in the hip. The teen was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for a gunshot wound. Neeley would turn himself in to authorities four days later.
The Daily Mail reports that a prank went terribly wrong in Sylvania, Alabama, landing a teenage boy in the hospital. An unnamed 16-year-old boy and some friends were “toilet papering” a neighbor’s yard when Ronnie Neeley caught the teens rolling out the toilet paper. Neeley, 64, discharged a weapon at the boys as they attempted to flee the scene. One of the teenagers was hit by a bullet in the hip and was taken to the hospital.
— That Guy (@ThatGuy3002) April 28, 2016
Four days after the shooting, Neeley would turn himself into police. Neeley is now being charged with second-degree assault, discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle, and two counts of menacing. The “discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle” charge indicates that Neeley likely fired shots into the vehicle driven by the teens as they tried to leave the area. According to AL.com, the teen hit in the hip was already in the vehicle and not in the neighbor’s yard.
DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris says that the teen was released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. However, Harris says the teen is lucky that the bullet didn’t take a fatal path.
“This is a traumatic incident that could have been tragic had the bullet taken a different path. We are very thankful that the child did not suffer any more injury than he did.”
WHNT reveals that Neeley fired more than one shot after getting angry about the toilet paper prank. The report claims that Neeley fired a number of shots in the air before firing a single shot at the tailgate of the truck the teens were riding in. It was the bullet fired at the tailgate that would hit the teen in the hip and result in his injuries. It is currently not clear if the house being toilet papered belonged to Neeley or if he simply lived nearby.
This isn’t the first time that a prank has gone terribly wrong. In fact, an Arkansas teen was killed in a similar prank when she went to perform a “retaliation prank” against another teen who had pranked them on Halloween. The pair threw eggs, mayonnaise, and toilet paper on a parked car but as they were leaving, a man came from inside the house and opened fire on the teenagers. The bullet would hit 15-year-old Adrian Broadway in the head, she would later die from her injuries.
— doraeromon (@doraeromon) January 7, 2016
A Kentucky teen’s prank on his sister also turned deadly after he accidentally hung himself. Jason Morlan, 16, wanted to frighten his sister on Halloween, so he planned to “pretend” to hang himself. However, the noose decoration would cut off the teen’s oxygen, and his terrified sister would find him hanging from a tree by his neck. The teen’s mother said that he loved Halloween and loved playing pranks. Authorities ruled the death an accident.
Sometimes the one performing the prank isn’t the one killed. A 19-year-old girl from Connecticut, Kristen Milano, was killed when her brother’s friend attempted to prank the family by throwing a firecracker in her bedroom window. The firecracker would start a fire and Milano would die before escaping the inferno.
What do you think about the Alabama man opening fire on teens “toilet papering” a lawn? Do you think the charges against Neeley are fair given the fact that the teens were trying to flee the scene at the time of the shooting?
[Image via DeKalb County Sheriff Department]