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Man shoots at armadillo, bullet hits mother-in-law


Authorities say a woman was accidentally shot by her son-in-law while he was trying to shoot an armadillo.

The incident had a lot of people scratching their heads- even law enforcement.

“Just the circumstances, just all the way around, the whole situation was unusual,” said Investigator Bill Smith with the Lee county Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting happened Sunday night on Gosa Road.

Lee County Sheriff’s deputies said 54-year-old Larry McElroy was outside when he fired his 9 mm pistol at the armadillo. The bullet killed the animal, but also ricocheted off of it, hit a fence, went through the back door of his mother-in-law’s mobile home, through a recliner she was sitting in, and into her back.

According to a report, McElroy was about 100 yards away from the home at the time.

McElroy’s mother-in-law, 74-year-old Carol Johnson was fortunately not severely injured.

“She was walking around on her own power and talking,” said Smith. “It didn’t appear to be too severe. They took her to Phoebe North [hospital].”

James Morgan, the Dougherty County Extension Coordinator said they actually recommend shooting armadillos for residents that live in the county, or a trap can be used to capture them.

“At first I ask if they live in the city or county, because shooting is an effective way of getting rid of them. However, you have to be safe when you do that,” said Morgan.

Authorities also suggest using a shotgun to possibly avoid a situation like what happened Sunday.

“I really think if they’re going to shoot at varmints and whatnot, maybe use a shotgun.. with a spread pattern with a lot less range,” Smith said.


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