Bullet ricochet at shooting range injures 1, close call for 2 others

Photo of Iron County Shooting Range, Iron County, Utah, June 3, 2016 | Photo from Iron County Shooting Range Facebook page, St. George News / Cedar City News

IRON COUNTY — Three men who were target shooting escaped serious injury Monday afternoon when a bullet ricocheted at the Three Peaks Recreation Complex.

Iron County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Mitchell told Cedar City News that the men had been taking turns firing rifles at a metal target at the Iron County Shooting Range.

One of the 5.56 mm bullets ricocheted back, with fragments striking the shooter in the left leg and left arm, Mitchell said, adding that the man’s injuries were “superficial, nothing major.”

A second man standing nearby was also struck, he said.

“One of his friends was hit in the forehead by part of the ricocheted ball, but he didn’t sustain any injuries.”

The third man reported feeling something graze past his neck, Mitchell added, but said that it didn’t break the skin.

“So he was really lucky.”

After the incident, which happened about 2 p.m., the men reportedly drove to Cedar City Hospital so the injured shooter could receive treatment.

Mitchell said the steel target at which the men were aiming was likely positioned closer than the recommended safe minimum distance.

“It was 10 yards away, so basically it was too close,” Mitchell said. “It also depends upon the angle. They make a lot of targets that are angled downwards, so when the bullet strikes the plate, it goes to the ground and doesn’t come straight back.” 

In contrast, some targets have metal plates that are perpendicular to the ground, he said, which create the “potential to have a ricochet come back.”

Mitchell encouraged all shooting range users to be familiar with and follow the safety rules posted at the site and on Iron County’s website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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