(TX) Boy, 12, who was shot to death was on his way to hunting trip


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Drizzt
March 17, 2003, 06:24 PM
The Houston Chronicle

March 15, 2003, Saturday 3 STAR EDITION

SECTION: A; Pg. 32

LENGTH: 503 words

HEADLINE: Boy, 12, who was shot to death was on his way to hunting trip

SOURCE: Staff

BYLINE: PEGGY O'HARE, S.K. BARDWELL

BODY:
A 12-year-old Mont Belvieu area boy preparing to go on a hunting trip with a friend was accidentally shot to death as the two were looking at a rifle.

Travis Hawes, a Barbers Hill Intermediate School sixth-grader who lived in the Old River-Winfree community, died Thursday after he was accidentally shot one time in the chest while visiting a friend's home in Crosby, authorities said. An ambulance crew found the boy had no signs of life, but took him to East Houston Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:52 p.m.

A day earlier, 11-year-old Michael Lilley of Conroe died after a friend accidentally shot him in the head with a BB gun, police said.

In the Crosby accident, two adults were at the home, but were outside when the shooting occurred, authorities said.

Inside the house, authorities found several guns and ammunition that were not locked up, said Harris County Sheriff's Department Lt. Danny Billingsley.

The shooting happened at the home of Lanny Jeffcoat at 5210 6th Street, detectives said. Jeffcoat, 44, had just picked up his 12-year-old son and Hawes, Billingsley said.

The three were planning a hunting trip this weekend, said Children's Protective Services spokeswoman Estella Olguin.

No charges have been filed. Sheriff's detectives will finish their investigation and forward the findings to the Harris County district attorney's office.

Jeffcoat could not be reached for comment Friday. A telephone call to his home was not immediately returned.

The shooting happened at 6:50 p.m. when the children were in a bedroom, and Jeffcoat and a neighbor were standing outside the house visiting, Olguin said. The adults heard a shot, and Hawes was found collapsed on the bedroom floor.

Jeffcoat's son, who lives in Dayton, was showing Hawes a .22 rifle when it accidentally fired, hitting him, sheriff's officials said.

Investigators seized numerous guns from the house, but the exact number was unknown.

At least three guns were found in the bedroom where the shooting occurred. Several more firearms were found in other rooms of the house, Olguin said.

In the Conroe accident, Lilley and friends began playing with the rifle-type air gun at his home in the 100 block of Ridgeway.

They apparently didn't know the air gun was loaded and charged. The boy holding the weapon was 15 to 20 feet from Lilley when it went off, police said.

Conroe police interviewed the boys, age 8 to 13, and referred the case to the Montgomery County district attorney's office.

Jeffcoat is cooperating with the investigation, but his son has been upset by the accident.

"The kid was just devastated," Billingsley said.

Guns should always be locked up, regardless of whether children are in the home, Billingsley said.

"If a homeowner chooses to have a loaded gun in the house for protective reasons, those guns definitely need to be secured. Guns, period, with unsupervised children, it just goes without saying - it's a no-no. You just don't do it," Billingsley said.
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awful lot of really dumb mistakes here, and now several families are having to live with the consequences...

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Blackhawk
March 17, 2003, 06:48 PM
"If a homeowner chooses to have a loaded gun in the house for protective reasons, those guns definitely need to be secured. Guns, period, with unsupervised children, it just goes without saying - it's a no-no. You just don't do it," Billingsley said.
Billingsley's right as far as he goes, but ALL children should be trained in safe gun handling, and it's really hard to start too soon!

Sad and tragic! :banghead:

blades67
March 17, 2003, 07:00 PM
That's very sad, but easy to see it happening.:(



Keep the guns locked up!:banghead:

Carlos Cabeza
March 17, 2003, 07:09 PM
This kind of thing happens so often its hard to find words to speak. Eddie Eagle maybe ? I don't think some kids have the mindset to have a loaded firearm in posession. I do know that some do. Carelessness is a terrible thing, and not to respect the potential consequenses and power that firearms have, is to show a lack of regard for life.
My condolences.:(

Yohan
March 17, 2003, 07:30 PM
I guess he was having a blast. It's a shame when people fail to follow the safety rules. :mad:

Standing Wolf
March 17, 2003, 09:47 PM
I wonder how many gun owners have ever shown their children what happens when you fire a round into a gallon milk jug filled with water. Every child should be shown what firearms actually do.

P95Carry
March 17, 2003, 09:53 PM
was showing Hawes a .22 rifle when it accidentally fired Tragedy?? You bet but ''accident'' .... sorry, I don't buy that. It was negligence by the shooter, secondarily compounded by a parent or parents who had neglected to instill gun handling disciplines.

The absolute FIRST pre-requisite with kids is handling safety ....... and also probably a demo of what can happen too, to make a point.

These things just should NOT happen ...... even if every kid just remembered the one rule only ''never point at what you would rather not hit'' ...... there might be no more than a hole in the wall.

When will parents learn.

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