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Boy, 12, fatally shot in apparent hunting accident

November 8, 2011

By Karen Voyles, Gainesville.com

The boy was with his grandfather at the time

A 12-year-old Dixie County boy died in an apparently accidental shooting Tuesday while hunting with his grandfather after school.

Bryan Austin Osteen, 12, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Dixie County Sheriff's Office. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is also investigating the incident.

Sheriff's Maj. Scott Harden said the boy and grandfather were hunting on private land about three miles south of Cross City and east of Southeast 377th Street when the accident happened about 5:15 p.m. at the boy's tree stand. The boy's shotgun fired once, striking him in the upper torso, Harden said.

"The grandfather was nearby, but did not see what happened," Harden said.
"We think he (Bryan) was either climbing up into his tree stand or getting down or maybe he just fell out of it."

The grandfather told investigators that he heard Bryan's gun go off and was walking toward the boy's tree stand when he saw Bryan on the ground. The tree stand was about 12 feet off the ground, Harden estimated.

According to Harden, the fatal shooting appears accidental, and foul play is not suspected.

Bryan's body was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office in Gainesville, where an autopsy is expected to be performed Wednesday.

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