Teen will not be charged in pellet gun death, police warn BBs can be deadly



Posted on March 14, 2010 at 10:34 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 15 at 5:37 PM

Valley Station Boy Shot

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We're learning more about how a BB gun killed an 11-year-old boy in Louisville Sunday night. It's been ruled a tragic accident.

There are no criminal charges being filed but doctors tell us the accident is not as unusual as it sounds.

The incident happened in the 9900 block of Donerail Way in Valley Station. For those familiar with BB guns, think of something like a “Daisy,” it looks like a rifle and pumps.

"Nobody would ever think that this could possibly happen,” said Lt. Barry Wilkerson, commander of the LMPD Homicide Unit.

But it did.  According to police, all day Sunday, 11-year-old Dallas Barnes and his family, including his 16-year-old uncle, were playing with BB and pellet guns in the kitchen.

"Another subject entered the home, loaded the BB gun unbeknownst to the uncle. They continued to play,” explained Wilkerson.

Barry Wilkerson says the uncle, playing with the gun, shot the victim in the chest; the BB penetrated the skin and entered the heart area which led to his death.

"It's something you don't hear every day. As kids we did the same thing   We played with them. You're warned by your parents, 'you'll get your eye put out.' But nobody would ever think that something this tragic could happen,” said Wilkerson.

“It's rare that we have them in a death. But it's not unusual. I've been here 19 years and I've seen a lot of kids have significant injuries or death from air powered or CO2 powered rifles,” said Dr. Ronald Paul.

Doctor Ronald Paul, Chief of Emergency Services at Kosair says people don't realize how lethal a BB gun can be.

“The muzzle velocity, which is the speed in which the BB leaves the muzzle, can be anywhere from 150-1200 feet per second. If you think it’s close to you, you’ve got to think, that’s very fast," he said.

Police say this death was an accident and the 16-year-old uncle will not face charges.

But they say this is a lesson, not just for this family but for your family too.