California boy, 10, dies after being shot with a pellet gun

January 6, 2013 9:35:07 AM PST
A 10-year-old Fresno County, California boy is dead after authorities say he was shot with a pellet gun while riding his bike in the Tollhouse area.

The shooting happened near Hidden Hollow Lane and Quail Mountain Lane. Authorities say the boy's death was the result of a tragic accident after the boy was killed by a playmate who fired a pellet gun.

Family members attempted to save the boy before emergency medical crews arrived at the scene. The boy was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, but did not survive the wound inflicted by a weapon that many consider to be a toy.

"We believe right now that it was a pellet gun," said Sgt. Kathy Curtice, Fresno County Sheriff's Office,"That was the initial report to us. And the only type of weapon that we have seen at the scene so far has been a pellet gun."

Investigators say the boy was shot accidentally by a playmate.

"It was determined through this investigation that this was an accidental shooting that involved another juvenile friend of the victim, in what appeares a case where the other involved juvenile did not believe the pellet gun was loaded with a pellet," said John Reynolds, Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

The 10-year-old boy died of a pellet shot to the chest.

"The important thing to remember with these pellet guns is people assume that they are just kids' toys. And it's still a rifle that sends out a projectile," said Reynolds.

Pellets fired from a pellet gun can travel at the same velocity as a bullet from a small caliber rifle, and at short distances can be lethal.