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Gunshot Hits Armadillo, but Also Shooter's Mother-in-Law

She was inside house, relaxing on recliner
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2015 2:54 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Georgia man might be in the dog house after a bullet he fired, meant for an armadillo, managed to find his mother-in-law. Larry McElroy, 54, decided to do away with a pesky armadillo while standing outside about 100 yards from his mother-in-law's mobile home in Lee County on Sunday. He fired his 9mm pistol at the animal, killing it. But, as though in a scene from a cartoon, the bullet ricocheted and struck a fence, then traveled through the home's back door, through 74-year-old Carol Johnson's recliner, and into her back. She was taken to a hospital but wasn't seriously injured and "was walking around on her own power and talking," investigator Bill Smith tells WALB. No charges have been filed.

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Smith, understandably, seems baffled by the case. "Just the circumstances, just all the way around, the whole situation was unusual," he says. It turns out that James Morgan, an extension coordinator in neighboring Dougherty County, actually does advise residents to shoot or trap armadillos. "Shooting is an effective way of getting rid of them. However, you have to be safe when you do that," he says. Smith adds, "I really think if they're going to shoot at varmints and whatnot, maybe use a shotgun ... with a spread pattern with a lot less range." (Click to read about 7 ways people in neighboring Florida have accidentally shot themselves.)

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