Man shot in nose by apparently stray bullet

By Paige Dickerson
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM -- A Sequim-area man was hit in the nose by a bullet that apparently traveled a half mile and mortar-like over trees after being fired by a recreational shooter SEmD who may not know what happened.

The man was treated and released after he was shot, apparently by accident, according to the Clallam County Sheriff's Office.

The victim, who lives on the 1500 block of Taylor Cutoff Road on the west side of the Dungeness River, was sitting in his backyard about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when he felt pain and his nose started bleeding, said Sgt. John Keegan in a news release.

Medics responded and found that he had been shot, Keegan said Sunday.

"It appears what happened is that he has an entrance wound on the top right of his nose down to the bottom left side -- it came at a steep downward angle and pierced his nose from the top right to bottom left," Keegan said.

He declined to name the man and did not know his age.

He was taken from his home to Olympic Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Clallam County Sheriff's Office investigators found a witness in an area across the river.

Clay pigeons

The witness, who also was not named, had seen a woman and two men shooting clay pigeons in a field off River Road south of Happy Valley Road -- about a half mile from where the man was shot, Keegan said.

Investigators recovered evidence that it was a .22-caliber weapon that the man was shot with.

The witness told the investigators the three were shooting the pigeons and later left in a gold or tan Mercedes, Keegan said.

The shooting appears to be unintentional, he said.

"It appears they didn't know [about the accident] when they left," Keegan said.

"There is no line of sight from where they were to the man's house.

'A lot of trees'

"There are a lot of trees, and what we think happened is that it went over all of those trees and other barriers and then came down -- it was more like a mortar.

"That would account for the extreme angle -- it wasn't a straight-on shot."

Keegan said that a .22-caliber weapon can shoot up to a mile.

"It would take about 1.8 seconds or a little over 2 seconds for the ball to travel the distance it did," he said.

"It is so important that people check their backstop when shooting and not try and shoot over it.

"Bullets will go amazingly far."

Although the shooting appears accidental, the Sheriff's Office is investigating, Keegan said.

If anyone has any information about the incident, phone the Sheriff's Office at 360-417-2459.

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Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at paige.dickerson@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 26. 2010 11:17PM
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