Moultrie Observer

Local News

April 14, 2014

13-year-old hit in legs when shotgun accidentally fires

MOULTRIE — A well-placed grill averted tragedy Sunday when a shotgun accidentally went off in a home on Hopewell Church Road.

Colquitt County deputies were initially called to the scene with a report of a home invasion, but there was no one inside. They were met at the scene by the residents, including a 13-year-old boy who had been shot in the leg.

The reporting deputy described entry wounds that appeared to be from shotgun pellets, but the boy walked to the ambulance to be checked out.

A Colquitt Regional Medical Center spokeswoman said he was seen at the emergency room and released.

The homeowner, Christopher Tillman, told deputies his son had been shot with a single-shot 20-gauge shotgun that had been inside the house. The family was coming home from Wal-Mart about midnight Sunday night, he said. He opened the door, stepped inside and heard a loud bang. He turned around and saw his son, who had been standing a short way behind him, had been shot.

Tillman said the shotgun was usually kept in the bedroom, but the family had had problems with people walking across their property lately. Earlier on Sunday, his dogs had acted strangely and started barking, so he retrieved the gun for protection. He had left it — loaded but not cocked — leaning against the wall behind the door.

The deputy saw a hole in the wall about an inch off the floor and about 2 inches behind the door. The hole had a powder burn ring around it, he said.

The shotgun was found about five feet away from the wall, but the deputy said the powder burn ring indicated the gun had been much closer when it went off. Presumably the gun’s own recoil slid it across the floor.

The incident could have been much worse. The deputy said most of the  pellets struck a charcoal grill outside the residence.

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