Only 4 people died in the United States last year from pellet gun accidents. Sadly, one of those rarities happened in my community yesterday. On a typical Tuesday afternoon, a 10-year-old boy in our town was playing after school at his friend’s house. He came home to tell his family he’d been accidentally shot by his friend with a pellet gun and then collapsed to the ground. Keegan Swinney was later pronounced dead at our local hospital. The details are still blurry, but apparently he was shot once in the mid-section.
As grief counselors worked with the boy’s friends and classmates today, and as both families are stunned with grief, many of us are scratching our heads over how such a thing could have happened?
Colored, round BBs litter the common areas just about everywhere in our kid-friendly town. My 3-year-old enjoys searching for them and then storing them as special treasure in an airtight container.
When we heard the horrific story, many of us thought of those common BB guns many young kids have.
However, Keegan’s friend was using a pellet gun, which, I never knew until today is not safe for children’s use. The pellets look very much like BBs except they are not plastic, but metal, and are able to pierce the skin easily. Pellet guns are commonly used to shoot small game.
I think many people, like me, never knew the difference.
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone. I feel so sad for Keegan, for a life cut way too short so senselessly. I can only imagine what his parents must be feeling and thinking right now. I also feel so much compassion for his friend and his family…We are with you.