Teen Shot in Buttocks in Hunting Accident

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Joseph Wilbanks, 18, is listed in good condition late Tuesday afternoon after being shot in the buttocks by a13 year-old boy. The shooting took place Monday afternoon in a wooded area in Madison County. Four teenagers were in the woods off of Deep Gap Road hunting for squirrels. A shot from a .22 rifle rang out striking Joseph Wilbanks in the backside. “He was in fact admitted to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. (I) believe Mr. Wilbanks was in surgery for two hours. He was treated for his injuries,” said Madison County Sheriff David Woolfork. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is now involved in the investigation. They want to find out if the hunters had licenses and what kind of safety was followed. “We want to see when the accident occurred was it a thick brush or was it in the open woods,” said Wildlife Officer Amy Snider. “There are numerous factors that can come into a hunting accident and we have to look at all those.” It appears the 13 year-old boy was walking behind Wilbanks when the boy’s rifle discharged. The sheriff’s department was notified of the shooting after a report from Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. “The investigation is not closed, but at this point it appears that the shooting was accidental,” said Woolfork. The shooting highlights the importance of taking safety precautions while hunting. “The number one thing is control the muzzle,” said Snider. “It’s your gun muzzle where the barrel is pointed. That’s the number one thing you need to be concerned about.”

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