Boy arrested for pellet gun shooting - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Boy arrested for pellet gun shooting

June 13, 2007


Albany -- Dougherty County Police have charged a 14-year-old boy with three counts of aggravated assault for shooting his brother and a friend with a pellet rifle.

South Georgia gun shops tell us pellet rifles are big sellers this summer, and warn parents that the guns are not toys, but powerful weapons that children should be supervised when using. 

Pellet rifles have been big sellers this year at Backwoods Outdoors, but they stress they are not toys. Gun Expert Frank Herndon said "If you shoot somebody with one of these air rifles, it could definitely kill them."

We test fired pellets at a piece of flooring to show what it can do. Herndon said, "This is a three-eighths inch piece of flooring.  The pellets, we actually had a pass through on one of them, and we have these two here that are almost completely through the wood."

Saturday Dougherty County Police arrested a 14-year-old Putney boy for shooting his ten-year-old brother and 11-year-old friend with a pellet rifle.  Investigators say the teen was arguing with the two about taking his bike, and shot them on purpose.

Dougherty County Police Captain Jimmy Sexton said "It's an aggravated assault.  He initially fired this weapon at these individuals and hit both of them."

The 11-year-old suffered a visible head wound, but neither was seriously injured. "It could have been much worse," Sexton said.

Gun experts say pellet rifles are great for teaching youngsters to shoot, but adults should always supervise kids when they are using them. "It's just like any other firearm. You need to wear hearing protection, eye protection, and make sure your are shooting in a safe area where there are no houses, people, or traffic," Herndon said.

Captain Sexton says he remembers two South Georgia children in recent years that died when shot with a B.B. gun, much less powerful, but still deadly when misused. Police warn parents that they will prosecute children when warranted.

The teen is being held in the Regional Youth Detention Center, charged as a juvenile with designated felony charges.  The District Attorney's office says he could face a maximum five year sentence if convicted.

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