Teen shot on squirrel hunt

Responders move the injured teen to the helicopter for transport to the hospital in Boise. Responders move the injured teen to the helicopter for transport
to the hospital in Boise.

The Enterprise

An afternoon of squirrel hunting outside Vale turned into a nightmare last Sunday, when a reloading mishap resulted in the shooting of a Vale teen.

The boy, 17, was reported to be in serious condition Monday at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Boise.

According to Malheur County Sheriff’s Office reports, the teen was out shooting at squirrels with another 17-year-old boy and Kyle Lovell, 28, on public land off Lytle Road. The Sheriff’s Office was not releasing the names of the juveniles.

Undersheriff Travis Johnson said one of the teens apparently was in the back seat of their vehicle, getting ammo to reload, when he noticed the hammer on his .22 revolver was still cocked. He went to fix that but his thumb apparently slipped and the gun discharged, Johnson said.

The bullet traveled through the back of the front seat and struck the other teen, who was sitting in the front. The bullet entered the boy’s back and exited from his stomach area.

Lovell and the boy with the revolver rushed to put their injured friend into the back seat and drive toward Vale, where they could get cell phone service to call for help.

Johnson said the call came in about 3 p.m. that the vehicle was en route to town with a gunshot victim. Deputies and an ambulance met up with the car at the Farmers Supply Coop.

The ambulance took the injured boy to Vale High School, where a Life Flight helicopter met them. He was flown to the hospital in Boise.

Johnson said while the boy is in serious condition, he is expected to make a full recovery. He added that could be a lengthy process.

Johnson said all indications at this point are that the shooting was accidental. He said the investigation is continuing, but no citations have been issued.