McKinleyville BB gun shooting sends one to the hospital

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MCKINLEYVILLE - Humboldt County Sheriff's received a call around 3 a.m. Sunday morning of a shooting near Dows Prairie Elementary School. The call came from a local hospital where a 17-year old male was being treated for a shot to the neck.

“When the deputy got to the ER, met the young man and his mother, the young man said he'd been walking on Dows Prairie Road, southbound, near Dows Prairie Elementary School, and he heard the sound of an air rifle and at the same time, felt a pain in his neck. He reached down, grasped his neck, and saw that he'd been shot,” Lt. Steve Knight with Humboldt County Sheriff’s said.

The young man walked home after the shot and attempted to remove the BB himself. When that didn't work, he told his mother who took him to the hospital. 

“The 17-year old male was treated and released from the local hospital. The doctor did point out to the officers that were investigating that it was very close to the young man's jugular and it could easily result in his death,” Lt. Knight said.

The investigation is ongoing and no suspects have been identified. There is also no indication that this shooting should result in any issues for Dows Prairie Elementary.

“This is an isolated incident at this point. We've had no other reports of anyone shooting a pellet gun or BB gun in the area and nobody else being struck,” Lt. Knight added.

The victim was shot be a BB type gun that can be purchased by anybody over the age of 18 in the state of California. Some restrictions do apply prohibiting some such as criminals, fugitives, or those ruled mentally defective by court from purchasing these guns.

This is not the first BB gun related incident on the North Coast. In November of last year, Eureka Police responded to a pellet gun shooting near Eureka High School that left two injured.

“Pellet guns and BB guns can cause serious injury and again, we'd like to remind everybody they are not a toy and they can really serious hurt or injure somebody,” Lt. Knight said.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s office is asking that anyone with information about this incident contact them at 707-445-7251 or the crime tip line at 707-268-2539.