10-year-old Arizonan uses Airgun in Self Defense

Common airguns

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-– At about 9 p.m. on May 4th, in the 5700 block of Azalia Street, a 17 year old teenager was shot, as reported by Pinal Central. From pinalcentral.com:

CASA GRANDE — The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a Wednesday night shooting that is being described as an attempted homicide near Casa Grande.

At approximately 9 p.m. PCSO received a call regarding a 17-year-old boy who had been shot in the 5700 block of Azalia Street, a neighborhood off Pinal Avenue that is unincorporated, following an argument.

The victim was transported to a hospital, where he underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

Details of what happened were not clear. Casa Grande is in Arizona, close to the junction of Interstate 8 and 10, between Yuma and Tucson, on I-8. It is between Phoenix and Tucson on I-10.

Azalia street is a set of modest homes in an unincorporated area, so it falls under the jurisdiction of the Pinal County Sheriff.

Jeremy Beren of Newsbreak broke the story. A 10-year-old had used an airgun in self defense. This correspondent contacted the Pinal County Sheriff’s office and received confirmation from Lauren Reimer, Public Information Officer. From the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office:

 On 5/4 around 9pm, PCSO received a call regarding a 17-year-old male who had been shot after an argument. The victim was transported to the hospital where he underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

Detectives were able to determine a 10-year-old child shot the 17-year-old in an act of self-defense using a high velocity pellet gun. Potential charges for the 17 year old are under review.

Children using firearms for self-defense make the news now and then. This is the first time this correspondent has read of a 10 year-old using a pellet gun with sufficient effect to cause hospitalization of the aggressor.

Air guns have had the potential for serious injuries for hundreds of years. The famous Girondoni air rifle was a military weapon which was used on the Lewis and Clark expedition across the American West from 1804 to 1806. It was a pre-charged .46 caliber air rifle.

Most pellet rifles today are .177 or .22 caliber. Some pre-charged guns range up to .50 caliber. Even a common .177 caliber air rifle can cause serious injuries. Every few years, a person dies from being shot with an air rifle. Most are children. The most common placement for fatal shots is to the heart or to the brain.

This correspondent received his first air rifle at age 11. Many ten-year-old children are capable of cocking and loading common air rifles. Cartridge firearms take less effort to load and shoot.

The incident in Casa Grande, a mile south of the Casa Grande airport, is still under investigation. We may never know all the details. Many 10-year-old children are capable of understanding threats and may need to defend themselves. As with all ages, there is a wide variation in maturity and abilities. Some children show significant responsibility and careful thought at an early age. Other people never mature to the point of taking responsibility for themselves and their actions.

In this case, the investigators from the sheriff’s office are convinced it was justifiable self-defense. The question now is whether the offense by the 17-year-old should be prosecuted or not.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten