The tragic death of a 12-year-old boy is prompting safety reminders about the dangers of B.B. and pellet guns. The boy was accidentally shot and killed by his best friend at a sleep-over.
The shooting happened Friday night in Bache just east of McAlester. Two friends were having a sleep-over when one shot the other in the head with a pellet gun.
Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns, said, "This young man was actually his best friend, they wasn't arguing, they wasn't fighting, We think it's just horseplay."
Kerns said the boy who pulled the trigger thought the gun was unloaded.
A parent rushed the 12 year old to McAlester Regional Medical Center.
"Her inclination was she could get him there faster than if she called an ambulance to the remote, semi-remote area that she was in,” Kerns said.
He was later flown to a Tulsa hospital where he died Saturday. Kerns said many people don't realize how powerful B.B. and pellet guns can be.
"It's not unusual to lose an eye, or something of that effect with a B.B. gun, but you don't think of death when you think of pellet or bb guns,” said Kerns.
In fact, the pellet that hit the little boy in the temple was traveling at 1,250 feet per second and he was shot from only a few feet away.
"This is not your Red Rider standard gun,” said Kerns.
Not only are new model pellet guns far more powerful, they're also more realistic looking. Sometimes it can be hard to tell between a real handgun and one that shoots pellets, and both can be deadly.
"It just tears you up, and there's another person always affected by this, it ain't just the victim and his family, this juvenile has got to live with this the rest of his life,” Kerns said.
The Pittsburg County sheriff said the tragic death reinforces how important it is for anyone who handles guns, even if it's a B.B. or pellet gun, to go through a gun safety course.