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A 10-year-old Utah boy has been shot; deputies blame a negligent target shooter

It appears to have happened again.

Target shooters in a rural spot in Utah failed to follow an important rule — know where your bullet will go before pulling the trigger.

And as a result, one round hit a car traveling on a highway and struck a kid. Though this time, the boy will live.

That’s according to the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office. Dispatchers received a call shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday that a 10-year-old boy was hit in the shoulder after a bullet struck the windshield of a vehicle traveling on Highway 89 just north of Mount Pleasant.

An ambulance took the boy to Utah Valley Hospital, where surgeons removed the bullet.

“The circumstances surrounding this incident are currently being investigated and appear to involve a family negligently target shooting in the direction of the highway,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook.

The same thing happened in Rich County in September 2018 when the Richins family was target shooting in Monte Cristo, firing hunting rifles at a paper target on a cardboard box. One of the last rounds fired by Kayleen Richins flew through aspen trees, hit the window of Jeep and struck 14-year-old Zack Kempke in the head, killing him instantly.

Richins pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and as part of her punishment was required to give shooting safety presentations. Her slogan is “no backstop, no shot.” It’s printed on orange wristbands she hands out. Richins continues to give the presentations, even though she has completed her community service hours.

“I started out doing it because I had to,” she said in a recent interview. “But I will continue doing it because I never want somebody to go through what my family has gone through. I never want anybody else to go through what the Kempke family has gone through.”

Sheriff’s deputies in Sanpete County say they have been in “close contact” with prosecutors there and will screen potential criminal charges when the investigation into the most recent shooting is finished.

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