Gun Safety Stressed Following Accidental Shooting

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SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. -- A stray target shooting bullet sent one man to the hospital Sunday afternoon. It happened west of Wichita near Andale, and now Sedgwick County deputies are urging gun owners to know their surrounds before they shoot.

Around 2 p.m. Sunday a homeowner was walking in his backyard when he was hit by a bullet fired from a half-mile away. The victim's family said it was a very scary situation.

"He was just out in the yard, his son Ryan was out here with him," said the victim's sister-in-law Brenda Mies.

The homeowner was struck by a bullet in his behind. Sedgwick County Officers said it came from across a farm field behind his backyard. Five men ages 18-20 were shooting several rounds from the other side of the field. They were aiming at a dead stump with no back stop. Sedgwick Co. Sgt. Kevin Berry said it was a wreckless mistake.

"When you're shooting riffles that are made for long distance shooting you definitely need to know what's behind your target when you shoot," said Berry.

Fortunately the victim was released from the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Mies said this isn't the first time bullets have wound up on her brother-in-law's property.

"Sheds have been shot out here, our cars have been shot," said Mies.

It's not illegal to shoot guns on private property in the country, but everyone who does needs to know the dangers.

"Hunters have to know where they're shooting at, it's the same thing with anybody that has weapons," said Berry. "You have to know what's on the other side of those trees before you shoot."

Mies hopes this accident can serve as a lesson to be learned for everyone who uses sporting guns.

"It's dangerous, people need to learn that guns aren't toys, said Mies. "Go to shooting ranges where it's safe."

The five target shooters were brought in for questioning with investigators Sunday afternoon. Berry said they could face aggrivated battery charges.
KAKE-TV also spoke with the home owner where the target shooting took place. He said his son and friends will no longer be shooting long distance rifles from that spot until he builds a back stop.

The shooters were brought in for questioning. Berry says they could face aggravated battery charges.