WOOD COUNTY, TEXAS — A fourteen year old teenager shot a suspected burglar in the chest after he mistook the burglar for what he thought to be an animal on the property of an abandoned house. The intended target ended up being a 43-year-old woman who had her car hid under a tarp and was on someone else’s property without their permission. She was believed, by police, to be in the midst of burglarizing the empty residence.
According to CBS 19 News, the woman was transported to a nearby hospital. For getting shot in the chest, she appears to be doing a lot better than most. My guess is it was a .22LR round.
Police are still debating whether to charge the youth with the shooting. He DID shoot a possible criminal, true, but that’s still a huge mess-up. Mistaking a person for an animal isn’t confirming your target and it’s definitely not a safe way to pick targets.
Investigators will likely take a lot of factors into consideration for this particular case. It’s a weird one, that’s for sure.
Once the woman gets out of the hospital — if she does — then there will likely be a bit more inquiry related to what she was doing there in the first place.
This is just another example of why it’s so important to reinforce those basic components of firearms safety. There’s no issue with stopping a violent crime or a criminal but if we don’t have the basic knowledge to hold fire until we’ve identified the threat, there’s going to be some serious issues further on down the road.
So, I guess it’s a reminder to us all that firearm safety never gets old. It doesn’t matter if it’s our kid learning to shoot for the first time or someone who’s shot continuously for forty plus years.
I personally hope that this kid gets a good life lesson out of this. At the end of the day, he shot another person in the chest. That’s pretty big.