May 30, 2005

Boy, 4, Accidentally Killed During Target Practice at Holiday Weekend Gathering in Minnesota

The Associated Press

TOWER, Minn. (AP) - A 4-year-old boy was fatally wounded when he wandered behind a paper target while family and friends were practicing shooting, authorities said.

Evan Davis Klassen, of Chisago City, was shot around 1:45 p.m. Sunday at Lake Vermilion, where a group of about a dozen people had gathered for the Memorial Day weekend.

"They thought they had the kids under control," said Sgt. James McKenzie of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Department.

While the paper target didn't completely obscure the child, he was wearing camouflage pants that made him difficult to see against the foliage, McKenzie said.

A 40-year-old man fired a handgun about 30 feet through the target and into the boy, he said.

McKenzie called the shooting as "a pretty straightforward accident" and said no charges were likely to be filed. The man's name and relationship with the boy were not released.

After the shooting, people rushed the boy to a nearby lodge. Emergency medical workers arrived, but there was nothing they could do, McKenzie said. AP-ES-05-30-05 0923EDT

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IMO, based on what I'm reading, that people should be held accountable. They were target shooting with little kids playing in the vicinty. That's like having a family pinic right off the highway with no fence/barriers seperating. This is criminal.