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Two teenagers shot in hunting accident

October 8, 2011

By Kristen Schneider, Andrew Colegrove, WSA.com

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Two teenagers are fortunate to be alive after they were both shot in a hunting accident.

It happened Saturday afternoon in the woods along the Coal River near Alum Creek.

Tammy Holsopple was home when she got a phone call that her son had been shot.

"The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘Is he alive?" she said.

Tammy says her 17-year-old son Keith and his best friend Wade Austin brought a younger friend along to squirrel hunt in the woods along the Coal River.

Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies say the younger friend was goofing off with a gun when he accidentally fired one shot that hit both his friends in their arms.

Tammy says she was horrified when she heard about the shooting.

"Words can't describe how grateful I am that they're both alive," she said.

Johnny Workman was outside his home when he heard a gunshot, followed by cries for help.

"There wasn't a decision to make but get over there and help them," he said.

Workman says the teens were hunting in an isolated area, far from any road, so he and his son-in-law took their rowboat across the river. The wounded teens got in the boat, and Workman and his son-in-law pushed them a couple hundred yards up the bank and to the other side where emergency crews could get to them.

Workman says they were fortunate the gunshot only hit them in the arms.

"One of them even said he'd never go hunting again,” Workman said. “I’d say it was a wakeup call for them, and I think more emphasis on gun safety would be called for."

Tammy says as she and emergency crews arrived the teen who shot his friends was white as a ghost and shaking, terrified by what he’d done.

She says her son and Austin are experienced, responsible hunters, but they shouldn't have brought along someone younger with little hunting experience.

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