Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

So that others may learn.

Moderators: Keith B, Charles L. Cotton, carlson1

User avatar

Topic author
The Annoyed Man
Senior Member
Posts: 23160
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: North Richland Hills, Texas
Contact:

Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby The Annoyed Man » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:32 am

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/01/17/pregnant-nanny-24-dies-after-being-hit-by-stray-bullet-in-arizona-desert-popular-for-target-shooting.html
A pregnant nanny, who was the wife of an airman stationed at Luke Air Force Base, died Monday after being struck in the chest by a stray bullet while visiting a spot in the Arizona desert known to be a popular target shooting area, police said.

Kami Gilstrap, 24, of Goodyear, was roaming the desert in Buckeye, about 30 miles west of Phoenix, on Sunday during a family outing when she was struck in the chest. She was airlifted to a hospital where she later died.

This sounds like it would have been avoidable only by the victim having knowledge that she was straying into a live-fire area, or possibly having signs posted out where she was hiking to notify the odd hiker of what they were hiking into. But even then, a stray bullet can carry for miles, depending on caliber. Plus, if it is a riccochet, who knows what direction it will take off in, or how much further it will fly?

When I worked in the ER, we treated a young man who had been shot in the head with a .308 caliber bullet at a National Forest shooting area by a shot fired from so far off that his friends never heard the shot. They had walked out to their targets and were setting them back up, and they believed they were the only ones there. The working theory was that he was hit by a bullet fired by a deer hunter further up in the mountains. If so, the long odds are that the hunter never knew he fired a bullet that hit another human in the head, and there is no way for sure to prove that’s even what happened. The victim did not die right then from the GSW. Two years later, when I left working there, that guy was still curled up in a shivering ball with no higher order mental functions at all, fighting off a series of pneumonia infections and bed sores.

I’m not sure what could have been done differently in either of these stories, but they are sad reminders for us as shooters to do everything we can to (A) safely backstop our own rounds, and (B) make sure WE are not in a beaten area ourselves when we shoot on public land. I was reminded by the above linked story of this thread: http://www.texaschlforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=91193.
"Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself."—Hookalakah Meshobbab
"I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes."—The Annoyed Boy
"Id aegre et in omnibus semper."—Quod Homo Aegre

User avatar

SQLGeek
Senior Member
Posts: 2660
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:48 am
Location: Richmond, TX

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby SQLGeek » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:27 pm

That is terrible. What a senseless loss of lives.

Idiots with guns took two innocent lives. :mad5
Psalm 91:2

User avatar

Topic author
The Annoyed Man
Senior Member
Posts: 23160
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: North Richland Hills, Texas
Contact:

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby The Annoyed Man » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:40 pm

SQLGeek wrote:That is terrible. What a senseless loss of lives.

Idiots with guns took two innocent lives. :mad5

It’s senseless and tragic, but in all fairness to the shooters, it is entirely possible that they were practicing every reasonable precaution and had no idea that someone had strayed into an impact zone, which locals know is a dangerous place to be. It’s a desert. Bullets travel a long way. The victim may have been hidden behind a fold in the earth, and the shooters could have had no idea she was there. She was the young wife of an airman stationed at a nearby AFB, and probably did not have local knowledge of the area in which she was hiking. OR, maybe she did, but just wasn’t paying attention to where she was. We’ll never know, but I hate to attribute idiocy to the shooters, who might have been behaving entirely responsibly. When I lived in SoCal, there was a private 1000 yard range run by a club called “Desert Marksman”, located on BLM land on the Mojave side of the San Gabriel mountains, outside of Palmdale. I never shot there myself, but I had friends who were members. I used to wonder if anyone ever accidentally strayed into their target area while hiking around in the desert, and whether or not shooters would be able to clearly see such a person from the firing line. The club owned or controlled the land the range was on, but they had no control over whatever happened outside the land they controlled......and it being open BLM desert, pretty much nobody else did either other than the odd BLM employee.
"Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself."—Hookalakah Meshobbab
"I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes."—The Annoyed Boy
"Id aegre et in omnibus semper."—Quod Homo Aegre

User avatar

ScottDLS
Senior Member
Posts: 4011
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:04 am
Location: DFW Area, TX

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby ScottDLS » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:19 pm

This is why we need more "common sense" federal gun control. If only Trump and the Republicans would choose the victims of "gun violence" over NRA money... :mad5
4/13/1996 Completed CHL Class, 4/16/1996 Fingerprints, Affidavits, and Application Mailed, 10/4/1996 Received CHL, renewed 1998, 2002, 2006, 2011, 2016...). "ATF... Uhhh...heh...heh....Alcohol, tobacco, and GUNS!! Cool!!!!"


Interblog
Junior Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: League City, TX
Contact:

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby Interblog » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:28 pm

This story reminds me of Pelican Island on the north side of Galveston Island. Do people still engage in target practice there, I wonder? Much of the undeveloped north side of the island used to be owned by one of the Mitchell companies, IRRC, and perhaps still is (Galveston CAD is not running a map utility right now, or I would check). But for decades, it wasn't really posted, and all kinds of people would come and go freely. Fishermen, mountain bikers, hikers, birders, beachcombers, etc. were all over the place, understandably given the relative lack of open public park-like spaces in the general area.

But still, there were scores of people out there firing weapons among all those other people engaging in recreational activities (not to mention that the Intracoastal and the Texas City Dike were both downrange). Each time I'd go out there to hike, I'd post a hand-written sign on my car's rear window that said "PLEASE DON'T SHOOT THE BIRD WATCHERS". One time, as I approached my vehicle from a distance, some law enforcement officers were having a heated discussion with the shooters. Bodies were tense, mouths were working in earnest, arms were flailing, etc. I had binoculars with me because I was constantly scanning the horizon for shooters, so I could see all of this, but I could not hear their conversation. I waited until everyone departed before returning to my car. I don't know whatever came of that, if anyone got ticketed or whatever. I haven't been back there in years now, so I don't know if this kind of dangerous juxtaposition still occurs.
Last edited by Interblog on Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.


rotor
Senior Member
Posts: 2497
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:26 pm

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby rotor » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:29 pm

SQLGeek wrote:That is terrible. What a senseless loss of lives.

Idiots with guns took two innocent lives. :mad5

How can we draw that conclusion from this report?


dlh
Senior Member
Posts: 476
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:16 pm

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby dlh » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:40 pm

I will make some general comments which should be common sense to folks on this forum:

1. Shooting ranges have a backstop for a reason.
2. When hunting make it a point to always shoot "down." That is why deer hunters use deer-blinds that sit off the ground. The greater the downward angle of the bullet the less likely you gonna hit something you do not see.
3. Rule no. 1--Safety---Rule No. 2---See Rule no. 1.

User avatar

Topic author
The Annoyed Man
Senior Member
Posts: 23160
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: North Richland Hills, Texas
Contact:

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby The Annoyed Man » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:36 pm

dlh wrote:I will make some general comments which should be common sense to folks on this forum:

1. Shooting ranges have a backstop for a reason.
2. When hunting make it a point to always shoot "down." That is why deer hunters use deer-blinds that sit off the ground. The greater the downward angle of the bullet the less likely you gonna hit something you do not see.
3. Rule no. 1--Safety---Rule No. 2---See Rule no. 1.

Those absolutely make sense - and common sense at that. No argument out of me. Have you ever been shooting on BLM land? I have, and here’s my perception.

The 2 or 3 BLM shooting places I have shot at were not designed as shooting places. They were just open land - usually desert - where people seem to gather to shoot because it’s far enough away from everything else to make it relatively safer than it would be shooting near residences or a town. BUT.... they aren’t managed, like a firing range, any more than the rest of the open desert is managed. Nobody has bulldozed up backstops, probably because they don’t have permission from BLM to “raise a structure” on BLM land.....and even if they got permission, where would they get a bulldozer, and who would pay for that? It’s just random open land, that nobody else is using for any other purpose. The best you can hope for is that the shooters would, by mutual agreement, set up so that there is a hillside or a cliff/escarpment backstopping their shooting area. But of the places I’ve been to, only one of them had hillsides backstopping the shooting lanes. Of of them was “backstopped” by the High Sierras, but they were several miles away. At each location, it would have been absolutely possible for someone, not aware that they were blundering into a live shooting area, to wander in from the sides or the back. There’s no way to control that.

Maybe the answer is for people to stop using unused open BLM land as public shooting areas. But, shooters have been doing this as long as the BLM has existed, and even before then, so this isn’t really a practical solution.

The only possible answer is for shooters to be aware of what might be downrange, and for hikers to pay attention to where they are hiking. In other words, increased awareness all around.
"Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself."—Hookalakah Meshobbab
"I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes."—The Annoyed Boy
"Id aegre et in omnibus semper."—Quod Homo Aegre


cedarparkdad987
Banned
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:01 pm

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby cedarparkdad987 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:52 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:
SQLGeek wrote:That is terrible. What a senseless loss of lives.

Idiots with guns took two innocent lives. :mad5

It’s senseless and tragic, but in all fairness to the shooters, it is entirely possible that they were practicing every reasonable precaution and had no idea that someone had strayed into an impact zone, which locals know is a dangerous place to be. It’s a desert. Bullets travel a long way. The victim may have been hidden behind a fold in the earth, and the shooters could have had no idea she was there. She was the young wife of an airman stationed at a nearby AFB, and probably did not have local knowledge of the area in which she was hiking. OR, maybe she did, but just wasn’t paying attention to where she was. We’ll never know, but I hate to attribute idiocy to the shooters, who might have been behaving entirely responsibly. When I lived in SoCal, there was a private 1000 yard range run by a club called “Desert Marksman”, located on BLM land on the Mojave side of the San Gabriel mountains, outside of Palmdale. I never shot there myself, but I had friends who were members. I used to wonder if anyone ever accidentally strayed into their target area while hiking around in the desert, and whether or not shooters would be able to clearly see such a person from the firing line. The club owned or controlled the land the range was on, but they had no control over whatever happened outside the land they controlled......and it being open BLM desert, pretty much nobody else did either other than the odd BLM employee.


I have to disagree. You are responsible for every bullet that leaves your barrel. Thats also the law.


Archery1
Member
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:09 am

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby Archery1 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:02 pm

If I had the time, I could pull at least 6 posts from just the last year on our community Facebook page where reports of cars being hit, porch post, fences, and whizzing bullets heard through folks' yards - all target/plinker shooting. Lived here 57 years without such carelessness going on. It ain't that hard to know where your bullet is going to stop against what and what's in line between, but I think we have a generation now that doesn't care.

User avatar

Topic author
The Annoyed Man
Senior Member
Posts: 23160
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: North Richland Hills, Texas
Contact:

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby The Annoyed Man » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:36 pm

cedarparkdad987 wrote:
The Annoyed Man wrote:
SQLGeek wrote:That is terrible. What a senseless loss of lives.

Idiots with guns took two innocent lives. :mad5

It’s senseless and tragic, but in all fairness to the shooters, it is entirely possible that they were practicing every reasonable precaution and had no idea that someone had strayed into an impact zone, which locals know is a dangerous place to be. It’s a desert. Bullets travel a long way. The victim may have been hidden behind a fold in the earth, and the shooters could have had no idea she was there. She was the young wife of an airman stationed at a nearby AFB, and probably did not have local knowledge of the area in which she was hiking. OR, maybe she did, but just wasn’t paying attention to where she was. We’ll never know, but I hate to attribute idiocy to the shooters, who might have been behaving entirely responsibly. When I lived in SoCal, there was a private 1000 yard range run by a club called “Desert Marksman”, located on BLM land on the Mojave side of the San Gabriel mountains, outside of Palmdale. I never shot there myself, but I had friends who were members. I used to wonder if anyone ever accidentally strayed into their target area while hiking around in the desert, and whether or not shooters would be able to clearly see such a person from the firing line. The club owned or controlled the land the range was on, but they had no control over whatever happened outside the land they controlled......and it being open BLM desert, pretty much nobody else did either other than the odd BLM employee.

I have to disagree. You are responsible for every bullet that leaves your barrel. Thats also the law.

You'll get no argument out of me, and I actually said virtually the same thing HERE:
The Annoyed Man wrote:Under the dictum that you own every round you send downrange, and where it ends up....

I absolutely agree with you, and at no point did I say that a shooter is not 100% responsible for the rounds they send downrange, but I think you're missing my point. That point is that, even when people do their level best to exercise firearms safety, something can still go horribly wrong. THEREFORE, when shooting on public land, it is important for the shooters to have heightened awareness and KNOW what is down range.........AND it is important for hikers hiking into unfamiliar country to have heightened awareness and KNOW what it is they are hiking into. That's not the same thing as laying the blame on the potential victim. But it is the same thing as saying that we should all practice greater awareness.

RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
Rule III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET

It's real easy to adhere these rules in the controlled confines of a regular shooting range. And we SHOULD. We also should do so when shooting on public land. But when you're out on public land, and you feel like you just have to shoot, it gets a lot harder to observe those rules with 100% certainty. The reason has nothing to do with how much WE control OUR behavior, and everything to do with the behavior of others which is beyond our control....... like an unseen hiker wearing earth tone colors, wandering into the beaten zone a mile from the firing line, past where you're going to see him/her. It's still our bullet, and we're still responsible for where it goes, but when a human acts like a squirrel diving under the front wheel of a passing Suburban, how much more can you do, except not be there shooting in the first place?

That's why I stopped going to uncontrolled BLM land shooting areas. It made me nervous as heck.
"Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself."—Hookalakah Meshobbab
"I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes."—The Annoyed Boy
"Id aegre et in omnibus semper."—Quod Homo Aegre


MechAg94
Senior Member
Posts: 1453
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:28 pm

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby MechAg94 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:53 pm

Archery1 wrote:If I had the time, I could pull at least 6 posts from just the last year on our community Facebook page where reports of cars being hit, porch post, fences, and whizzing bullets heard through folks' yards - all target/plinker shooting. Lived here 57 years without such carelessness going on. It ain't that hard to know where your bullet is going to stop against what and what's in line between, but I think we have a generation now that doesn't care.

I think some people see thick vegetation down range and think a bullet will hit something when it often will keep going. Even 22 short can carry a ways if shot at an upward angle.

User avatar

Topic author
The Annoyed Man
Senior Member
Posts: 23160
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: North Richland Hills, Texas
Contact:

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby The Annoyed Man » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:08 pm

Archery1 wrote:If I had the time, I could pull at least 6 posts from just the last year on our community Facebook page where reports of cars being hit, porch post, fences, and whizzing bullets heard through folks' yards - all target/plinker shooting. Lived here 57 years without such carelessness going on. It ain't that hard to know where your bullet is going to stop against what and what's in line between, but I think we have a generation now that doesn't care.

I'm just curious..... whereabouts do you live? Is it near a range, or is it people shooting on public land?
"Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself."—Hookalakah Meshobbab
"I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes."—The Annoyed Boy
"Id aegre et in omnibus semper."—Quod Homo Aegre


Archery1
Member
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:09 am

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby Archery1 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:04 am

The Annoyed Man wrote:
Archery1 wrote:If I had the time, I could pull at least 6 posts from just the last year on our community Facebook page where reports of cars being hit, porch post, fences, and whizzing bullets heard through folks' yards - all target/plinker shooting. Lived here 57 years without such carelessness going on. It ain't that hard to know where your bullet is going to stop against what and what's in line between, but I think we have a generation now that doesn't care.

I'm just curious..... whereabouts do you live? Is it near a range, or is it people shooting on public land?

No, it's very rural, outside city limits. Backyard shooters. Lots of it as small mini ranches are replacing the rice fields. Its just plain irresponsible shooting, careless folks, and more and more them. Every weekend, in variuos parts, it tannerite parties that rock the town. There seems a certain level of lack of repect and care that's coming with it thats more concerning. When it was way more rural, none of this went on.


ml1209
Senior Member
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:17 pm

Re: Pregnant nanny, 24, dies after being hit by stray bullet in Arizona desert popular for target shooting

Postby ml1209 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:45 am

Tragic, prayers for the family

I used to live in Arizona and I would go out to the desert outside of Phoenix to shoot all the time. It's a lot more fun than going to the gun range, BUT there is also a lot more risk. You are out in the middle of nowhere, with no medical services nearby. You are also vulnerable to whoever you might meet out there. I ran into an older guy with a 1911 on his hip. Actually he approached me and my girlfriend. He was friendly, but out there he could have been a serial killer for all we knew, and no one would ever find us.


Return to “Never Again!!”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests