By Bob Steenson, firstname.lastname@example.org
A boy injured by a round fired at a Chickasaw County gun range is in stable condition with “non-life-threatening” injuries, according to the county sheriff.
Chickasaw County Sheriff Martin Hemann told the Press Tuesday that authorities are continuing to investigate the incident that happened Sunday afternoon south of Nashua, but it “is not being treated as a criminal act.”
At that time a round apparently fired at the Nashua Fish and Game Club struck an 8-year-old boy who was at the Apples on the Avenue orchard about three-eighths of a mile east of the gun range.
Darin Enderton, who owns Apples on the Avenue with his wife, told the Press the boy was at the orchard Sunday with his parents and extended family, but he didn’t want to give more details than that about the family or what happened.
He said they had talked with the family Sunday night, and they told him the boy had successfully gone through surgery and they expected him to remain hospitalized for up to two weeks.
On the orchard’s Facebook page, the company announced it had set up a Go Fund Me account to raise funds for the boy’s family to help cover lost wages while the boy is hospitalized.
That account can be found at gofundme.com/child-injured-by-a-stray-bullet. As of Tuesday afternoon it had raised $360 in about four hours the account had been open.
Enderton said the orchard is open for business. He called the incident “an unfortunate accident — a freak accident” and said the orchard is a safe place.
Sheriff Hemann said the parents of the boy are “adamant” that the boy’s and the family’s name not be released, “so we will respect that.”
Hemann also declined to describe the nature of the injury or where the boy was struck by the round, or whether the firearm used was a long gun or a handgun.
The victim was originally taken by Chickasaw County Ambulance to the Waverly Health Center, then flown by Mercy Air Med to the University of Iowa Hospitals.
The sheriff said the firearm thought to have fired the round, as well as the round that caused the injury, have been sent to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for testing to make sure they match.
He said the round was recovered at the scene, not from the boy at the hospital.
“Everybody has been very cooperative,” Hemann said. “We’ve gotten statements from everybody.”
He called the incident a “freak accident” with a stray round, said there was “no criminal intent” and said authorities had identified the person who fired the round.
Asked why the round needed to be matched with the firearm if the person who likely fired the round was known, Hemann said, “We’re dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s so we can say, ‘this is the bullet, this is the weapon.’”
He said authorities wanted to be able to provide the information to the family as well as complete the department’s own investigation.