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Man shoots mother-in-law after bullet bounces off armadillo

Published 14/04/2015

A 74-year-old woman was hurt in Georgia when a bullet ricocheted off an armadillo's shell
A 74-year-old woman was hurt in Georgia when a bullet ricocheted off an armadillo's shell

Police in Georgia say a man shot at an armadillo, but ended up accidentally wounding his mother-in-law when the bullet ricocheted off the mammal.

Larry McElroy (54) told officers that mother-in-law, Carol Johnson, suffered a gunshot wound after a 9mm round he fired at an armadillo bounced off the animal and struck her.

Mrs Johnson suffered injuries that were described as non life-threatening; the armadillo was killed.

“Just the circumstances, just all the way around, the whole situation was unusual,” investigator Bill Smith of the Lee county Sheriff's Office told the WALB-TV station.

Indeed, according to investigators Mr McElroy claimed his bullet killed the armadillo, bounced off the animal then hit a fence, travelled through the back-door of Mrs Johnson’s mobile home and passed through the reclining chair she was lying in, striking her in the back. Officers said Mr McElroy was 100 yards away from Mrs Johnson’s home when he fired the shot.

Reports said no charges were filed in the case and Mrs Johnson was not badly injured.

“She was walking around on her own power and talking,” Mr Smith added. “It didn't appear to be too severe. They took her to Phoebe North hospital.”

Local official James Morgan said the authorities recommended either shooting or trapping armadillos that are creating a nuisance.

“At first I ask if they live in the city or county, because shooting is an effective way of getting rid of them. However, you have to be safe when you do that,” he said.

Mr Smith said local residents should use a shotgun rather than a handgun.

“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,” he said.

Independent News Service

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