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Target shooter misses mark, hits two teens

While there were no fatalities, two Texas teenagers were injured when a target shooter recklessly shot toward the direction of the school the two teens were outside of. The 36-year-old man was arraigned earlier this month on a charge of aggravated assault, after one of the students was left paralyzed from the waist down after sustaining a spinal cord injury.

The 14-year-old male student who was shot was able to have the bullet extracted, but the 13-year-old teen was left paralyzed. The two students were outside their rural school, trying out for the basketball team at the time of the incident.

According to police, the bullet extracted from the first student matched the .308 caliber rifle the man was using at the shooting range, which led to the aggravated assault charge. Police say there could be more charges filed.

Police noted that the man was cooperative; admitting that he knew the school was directly beyond the target he was aiming at. Police also said the shooter logged his shots at around the same time the students were struck by the bullets. A sheriff said the school was nine-tenths of a mile beyond the targets.

The school is also near lands that have hunting leases, and a school official said he wanted to work with Texas lawmakers to pass a law banning hunting within three miles of schools.

While it is easy for an accomplished target shooter to convince himself or herself that they won't miss the target, using a dangerous rifle in a direct line with a school is not excusable. The parents of the injured students could be entitled to hold the man accountable for his negligent actions.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Target shooter arrested in wounding of 2 pupils," Lynn Brezosky, Jan. 6, 2012

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