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Hunting Accident in Virginia

November 27, 2010

7-year-old killed by brother in hunting accident

LOVINGSTON -- A 10-year-old boy shot and killed his 7-year-old brother today in a hunting accident near Wingina in Nelson County, according officials.

The boys were accompanied by their father on private land when, at about 4 p.m., the 7-year-old shot at a deer with a pellet gun, missing it completely, according to Julia Dixon, spokeswoman for the state's Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The 10-year-old tried to follow up with the .410-gauge shotgun he was carrying, but as he raised the gun, his brother ran into the line of fire, according to a statement from Dixon.

The boy received one wound to his back and was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Dixon wrote in an e-mail.

Officials are withholding names because the incident involved juveniles. Conservation police officers are still investigating.

It wasn't immediately clear what type of pellet gun the 7-year-old was using, but under Virginia law, hunters may only pursue deer with rifles of at least .23 caliber. Most commonly available pellet guns and air rifles are of .177 or .22 caliber.

Under Virginia law, hunters younger than 12 must be "immediately supervised" by a licensed adult. Additionally, Fauquier and Chesterfield counties have regulations requiring that minors with guns on public roads or lands be accompanied by an adult.

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