Deputy Loses Eye In Shooting Practice


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jsalcedo
November 25, 2004, 04:48 PM
From: http://www.mymotherlode.com/News/article/kvml/1101227366

(source: Radio station KVML)

Deputy Loses Eye In Shooting Practice
Tuesday, November 23, 2004 - 08:25 AM

Sebastian Kunz
Anchor
A senior deputy with the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department lost an
eye during what's being described as a "freak accident" last week.

Calaveras County Deputy Jim Waddell was doing practice shooting on a
range on his property in Stanislaus County.

After firing his AR-15 rifle at a steel target, a bullet fragment
ricocheted back and struck him in the left eye.

The deputy was wearing safety glasses, but the fragment somehow went over
the glasses.

Deputy Waddell was taken to a local hospital and then transferred to
Stanford Medical Center where emergency surgery was performed, but
doctors were not able to save the eye.

Officials say he's in good spirits and recovering at home, receiving much
support from friends and coworkers.

He returns today to Stanford Medical for a follow-up surgery.

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JL2152
November 25, 2004, 05:10 PM
This really is a sad and freak accident. Just goes to show that sometimes weird things happen.

El Tejon
November 25, 2004, 05:14 PM
Sad and horrific, but not a freak accident. Lots of stuff comes back to the shooter off backstops. Eez gon, eez not safe.

As wise man in Tejas sez, "I could make a backstop out of cream puffs and SOMETHING would come back." This was after a pistol bullet knocked a student down with one to the face. No problems, she was a skin doc, stopped the bleeding and a little liquid skin, good as new and she kept her pistol pointing downrange, even after being clobbered.

8830
November 25, 2004, 05:22 PM
That's why I don't shoot steel targets. I got tired of picking bullet fragments out of my shirt and had a friend I was standing next to catch a ricochet in the groin while he was shooting.

Standing Wolf
November 25, 2004, 06:06 PM
I'll bet he'll keep an eye out for good eye protection from now on.

jsalcedo
November 25, 2004, 06:26 PM
After firing his AR-15 rifle at a steel target,

How much you wanna bet it was at close range?

His shooting glasses were probably not designed for the task either.

ScorpioVI
November 25, 2004, 06:43 PM
The deputy was wearing safety glasses, but the fragment somehow went over
the glasses.




What BS! He was either not wearing glasses or wearing it improperly. Projectiles just don't take drastic curves around barriers.

ConcernedCitizen
November 25, 2004, 06:46 PM
The deputy was wearing safety glasses, but the fragment somehow went over the glasses.

How exactly does a bullet fragment go OVER your glasses, and still happen to hit you in the eye?

I'd like to see the ballistic arc of that bullet fragment...

*Edit* Good timing, ScorpioVI! :)

carebear
November 25, 2004, 06:52 PM
glasses splipped down his nose? his head was canted on the stock, creating the angle?

Why's everything got to be a flippin cover up? Seemingly weird stuff happens everyday for perfectly rational reasons.

Cynicism is common and boring.

armoredman
November 25, 2004, 07:10 PM
Safety glasses, properly worn, don't allow a fragment to loop around them. This is someone who decided he knew better than the manufacturer about how they should be worn. I see it all the time, when I ran a range, to now with officers at the qulification line.
BTW, I have a polycarbonate lens from regular glasses the day I thought I was bulletproof - fragment came up and impacted the lens just below center. Nice deep gouge in the polycarbonate lense, which if had been glass, would have decorated my bloody eye socket...
Never again.

Preacherman
November 25, 2004, 07:52 PM
Actually, it IS possible for a bullet fragment to get into the eye "over" the protective glasses. It happened to a buddy of mine in South Africa back in the '80's. He was wearing protective glasses, but the fragment came at him a bit high, went over the top of the glasses, and struck the eye orbit (the bony circle surrounding the eye). It was deflected downward, into the eye. He ended up losing sight in that eye.

Tom Servo
November 25, 2004, 08:05 PM
I can't help it. TBS was just showing A Christmas Story, and the immortal line, "you'll shoot your eye out!" sprang to mind when I read this.

Ryder
November 25, 2004, 08:13 PM
Cynicism is common and boring.

So are congenital liars.

carebear
November 25, 2004, 08:48 PM
I live a much happier life since I decided that, barring obvious information to the contrary or a risk to safety (physical, financial or other), I would more or less accept people at their word.

Less stressful than constantly trying to figure out if they are lying. Usually more entertaining as well. Lies can get pretty extreme if you just go along with the story, eventually they unravel themselves...

Lone_Gunman
November 25, 2004, 09:19 PM
The bones around the orbit can "funnel" fragments into the eye, depending on the angle the fragment strikes the bone.

I have personally seen people who had a fragment hit there eyebrow area, get deflected downward, and injure the globe of the eye.

Eye protection will minimize these problems, but will not eliminate them.

Stand_Watie
November 25, 2004, 10:43 PM
We wear goggles like this at my workplace for splash protection. Maybe they need a redesign to make them fragment resistant enough for shooting eyewear?



***
http://www.eyesafety.4ursafety.com/updatepics/uvex-stlth-goggle.jpg


Uvex Stealth Goggles ensure worker compliance with advanced design, comfort and safety features. Durable polypropylene frame with soft, flexible elastomer seal provides exceptional comfort and customized fit around facial features. Impact resistant polycarbonate single lens can easily be replaced without throwing away the entire goggle. Lens with Uvextreme® AF coating is anti-fog, anti-scratch, anti-static and offers greater than 99.9% UV protection. Other features include quick-adjust headband clips, indirect venting for extra splash protection, superior optics and improved peripheral vision. Complies with ANSI and CSA standards. Made in USA in an ISO 9001 registered facility

jdkelly
November 25, 2004, 10:52 PM
Cynicism is common and boring.---carebear
Nice insult!
Of course aren't all LEOs cynics? How can one investigate anything without being one?

I think you have to be a cynic to some extent just to want to understand the dynamics of what transpired with the LEO shooting himself in the eye. I think many of us believe that if you shoot yourself then you did something unsafe, as you suggested.

Why's everything got to be a flippin cover up?---carebear
I think it's the incomplete information as to what happened that triggers questions in peoples minds.


Respectfully,

jdkelly

JerryM
November 25, 2004, 10:58 PM
I sometimes shoot steal plates with a handgun. I always stay at least 15 yards back, and always turn the target at an angle so that a ricochet will not come back toward me. I am nearly always alone, so the slanting of the plate is not a problem.

Jerry

carebear
November 25, 2004, 11:39 PM
I was grumpy this morning, so I now regret the insulting-ness.

Still, I think there's a difference between 'cynicism' and simple curiosity and/or the responsibility to tell truth from lie in a law enforcement scenario. Cynicism is aggressive vice neutral disbelief.

On the non-LE side of the house, it is the difference between the response "Over the glasses? How could that happen?" and...

What BS! He was either not wearing glasses or wearing it improperly. Projectiles just don't take drastic curves around barriers.

wingman
November 25, 2004, 11:43 PM
I sometimes shoot steal plates with a handgun. I always stay at least 15 yards back

There you go, anyone shooting steel at close range with jacketed bullets
is going to get burned in time.... My suggestion is don't.

jdkelly
November 25, 2004, 11:46 PM
I was grumpy this morning, so I now regret the insulting-ness.---carebear
I'm glad you are feeling better, I hope your Thanksgiving was good.

And yes I do believe that there are degrees of cynicism.


Respectfully,

jdkelly

carebear
November 25, 2004, 11:54 PM
jd,

Yep, had dinner with the folks, the only people who had to live with my grumpiness for 33 years and still call me their baby.

I was especially thankful for having two functioning eyes. :rolleyes:

Hope your Thanksgiving was good as well.

psyopspec
November 26, 2004, 12:04 AM
Bet he didn't see that one coming...

DesertRat
November 26, 2004, 12:43 AM
This is something that I find no humor in.

I strongly suspect that those who are making jokes of this situation wouldn't think it was very funny had it happened to them.

This kind of stuff can happen fairly easily especially with some of the scenarios that LEOs try to train for.

Psssniper
November 26, 2004, 03:16 AM
Had an experience with shotguns and bowling pins that was similar but with consequences that were not as drastic. When you shot a rifle or shotgun you standing sideways a little and you head is canted a little. I had a pellet come back and go between the lenses of my glasses and hit me in the right eyeball.
Fortunately, unconciously it seemed, I saw a shadow and blinked as the pellet came through. I was bleeding slightly after being hit. Impact was just above the eyeball but below the eyebrow, ouch!!!!!!!! I now wear wraparounds like oakleys when I shoot. Tragically we all should learn from situations like this deputies.

nipprdog
November 26, 2004, 06:43 AM
I'll bet he'll keep an eye out for good eye protection from now on.

http://glocktalk.com/images/smilies/upeyes.gif http://glocktalk.com/images/smilies/upeyes.gif http://glocktalk.com/images/smilies/upeyes.gif

Ol' Badger
November 26, 2004, 08:51 AM
I had one smack me in the glasses. It lefted a nice scratch in them. I now even wear them when I mow the lawn.
:(

BryanP
November 26, 2004, 09:37 AM
Even the extremely unlikely happens eventually. A lady I used to work with lost sight in one eye after such a freak thing. She was working with Habitat for Humanity, building a house. She was driving a nail - no power tools, just a hammer and a nail. Must've hit a knot or slid or something. We've all hit nails wrong and had them flip off to one side. This one went directly back at her and straight down the center of her left eye. How many of us bother wearing safety glasses working with non-powered hand tools?

I hope your recovery goes well Deputy Waddell.

artherd
November 26, 2004, 02:36 PM
The deputy was wearing safety glasses, but the fragment somehow went over
the glasses.

I've had safety glasses literally blown off my face by a (small! thankfully!) rocket fuel explosion. I was lucky, just got 1st degree burns all over my face.


Safety goggles are not a defense shield against doing anything stupid. IMO that incluldes shooting steel at less than 50+ yards. (and 100+ with steel-core ammo.)

Double Naught Spy
November 26, 2004, 09:18 PM
Not a freak accident. Basically, the deputy did not keep eye protection between his eye and the target. If it was a chilly morning, his glasses may have fogged and he may have done something like looked over the top of the glasses to take the shot. Or, he was somewhat sideways to the target and the fragment came in from the side and he didn't have wrap around protection.

I have found fragments came come back with 5.56 fmj out to about 40 yards and still sting. I prefer to use frangible which go a long way in negating dangerous bounce back. There are still the occasional jacket pieces that might come back, but not very far and not with much power. I like the Federal 50 gr. frangible from www.ammoman.com . The stuff shoots well and disappears in a poof of dust when striking steel.

nipprdog
November 26, 2004, 10:28 PM
Basically, the deputy did not keep eye protection between his eye and the target

were you there?

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