NY: Parma Man Accidentally Shot from Half Mile Away

NY: Parma Man Accidentally Shot from Half Mile Away

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- In October 2016, two men were target shooting in rural New York.  They were sighting in rifles for the upcoming deer season.

They could see about a thousand feet, but there was no obvious backstop on the flat ground.  They had two .308 Winchester rifles, a Del-Ton AR, and a pistol. It was about 4 p.m.

Almost half a mile away, unseen, Kevin Flannery was mowing a lane on his property.  A picture taken a year later shows tall ground cover on either side of the lane. Flannery could not be seen from the position of the shooters.

Flannery apparently moved in and out of the “beaten zone” of the rifle shooters as they zeroed in their rifles. The bullets traversed tall grass and weeds before reaching the lane Flannery was mowing.

Flannery's mower, then Flannery were hit. Flannery was critically wounded. It took months for him to recovery after being hit with a high powered rifle round. He lost 40 pounds while recovering from surgery in the hospital.

From rochesterfirst.com:

PARMA, N.Y. (WROC-TV) – Police have arrested two suspects in relation to a shooting in Parma that happened on Tuesday.

Police responded around 4:45 p.m. to Moul Road for a report of a man who was shot in the abdomen while working on his property.

Police say as they responded, they could hear shots being fired in the distance. Deputies located the shooters, Ryan G. Pellman, 34, of Greece and Matthew E. Rodgers, 35, of Hilton in an area behind and to the west of North Avenue.

Pellman and Rodgers were allegedly shooting paper targets without the use of a backdrop.

Once the shooting had ceased, deputies located the victim, Kevin R. Flannery, 42, about 800 feet south of where they responded.

Pellman and Rodgers were indicted for assault and reckless endangerment by a grand jury in April of 2017.

In August 2017, Judge Alex Renzi of the State Supreme Court overturned the indictment. The charges were dismissed. The evidence did not meet the legal criteria for either crime.

A civil suit was filed by the Flannerys in November of 2017.

Kevin Flannery went through months of recovery. He came very close to dying. It was 10 months before he was able to return to work. Pellman and Rodgers have had to spend considerable resources on their defense. The legal expenses are likely to continue.

The shooters had no intention of hitting Flannery. They did not know he was there. They thought it was impossible their shots had hit anyone. Flannery was 2,300 feet away from the shooters, a little less than 800 yards. .308 rifles are routinely fired in thousand yard matches.

This accident occurred because the shooters did not understand the ballistics of their rifles. They assumed there was no one in the direction they were shooting. They did not ensure the bullets were hitting an adequate backstop. It was a nearly fatal mistake.

I suspect they have been regretting their decision for over a year.

Safety rules came about through long, hard experience. They exist for good reasons. Know your target, and what is behind your target.

2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Mike the Limey
Mike the Limey
2 years ago

If they were shooting from prone & their target was a couple of feet off the ground then the bullet would still be rising out past 300 yds.
The other possibility is that the land fell away beyond their target, which would actually make more sense, as this would also preclude them being able to see anyone within the beaten zone of their shots.

Macofjack
Macofjack
2 years ago

The more I research this story the more questions I have. If the man was 800+ yards out the bullet drop (if zeroed for 100 yards) would be about 5 feet. Either they were shooting very high, zero was set well pat 100 yards (not stated in the story) or they shot him through the ground! Still stupid to not know what our backstop is, but way to many unknowns in the story.

Murphy
Murphy
2 years ago
Reply to  Macofjack

Check your ballistics. 600 yds at 3200 FPS with a 100yd zero 150 gr projectile is 103 “ drop. These guys are too stupid to have firearms. As has been posted, know your back stop or don’t shoot. These days it’s very easy to find information on your particular cartridges ballistic performance.

Alan
Alan
2 years ago

Repo:

I wrote Alan says:
January 26, 2018 at 2:13 PM

It’s not the gun, it’s the idiot holding the gun.
To set your mind at ease, in no way could I be properly described as being Anti Gun or Pro Gun Control, as same is usually offered. It was, in this instance, as is usually the case, the fault of the person holding the firearm and nothing else.

Repo
Repo
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan

My reply was intended towards Roy D the person who made the statement about too many stupid people own guns. That’s what could be taken as an anti gun statement in my opinion.

JDHasty
JDHasty
2 years ago

Morons shooting AR based rifles have shut down access to more of acres of private land in central and eastern Washington than for any other reason. There seems to be a compelling need to see how fast they can unload a magazine full of ammo, many times with little regard to ricochets and what exacerbates the problem is they frequently are shooting ball ammo without regard to any backstop. I own AR’s and shoot and hunt with them so save the “scary black rifle” crap for late nights with like minded morons who like to toss around such canards as… Read more »

Dan Schwager
Dan Schwager
2 years ago

First thing they teach you is KNOW YOUR BACK STOP or don’t shoot.

Gunny1951
Gunny1951
2 years ago

Repo, you said it all. We all make mistakes at some point in our lives, some are just much worse than others. That said, no amount of money will make up for the hospital time, lost abilities, and mental anguish the unfortunate victim of these two men’s mistake. I’m speaking from personal experience. Twice in fairly recent history I have been victim of someone else’s mistake. Both times extremely tragically. First time approx 8 year “recovery” period, second time still working on recovery. Neither instance afforded me any financial recompense-everything beyond insurance coverage came out of my own pocket. After… Read more »

Alan
Alan
2 years ago

Jim:

The story does sound odd, but I wasn’t there. Speaking from personal experience, with the Model 70 Winchester Standard Target Rifle, shooting my own handloads at 600 yards, prone position, using a military sling and Redfield International Iron Sights, I could consistently hold inside the 10 ring elevationwise (12″ diameter). I could not shoot effectively at 1000 yards with the 308, others could. Essentially, I would not have fired with the 308 beyond 600 yards. DIfferent story with the 30-06. Re these guys, shooting without a proper backstop, one has to wonder.

Joe Pimpernel
Joe Pimpernel
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan

A bullet can travel a lot further than you can accurately aim it.

tomcat
tomcat
2 years ago

No backstop is an absolute no no and very stupid as was proven by the fact that someone was hit a distance away and did nothing in connection. Bullets can travel for a long ways.
I do like Repo’s reply that a lot of people own a lot of things that can harm themselves and others. For anyone that would blame the gun, there is the answer.

Alan
Alan
2 years ago

The inattention of the shooters to important details, no backstop for the shots fired is unforgivable. They intended no harm, though they did great harm, the after effects of their carelessness is plainly beyond the pale.

Jim
Jim
2 years ago

Read more: https://www.ammoland.com/2018/01/ny-parma-man-accidentally-shot-from-half-mile-away/#ixzz55JCyfO5Y
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Once the shooting had ceased, deputies located the victim, Kevin R. Flannery, 42, about 800 feet south of where they responded.
800 feet is not half a mile. so, was it 800ft or half a mile, 880 yards ? My previous comment is moot if it was only 800 feet away.

Tionico
Tionico
2 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Sime. they resonded to a locatioin near the victim but wisely moved to stop the continuing fire before putting themselves in way of those rounds. Good move on the part of the cops, but it likelh led to a signficant delay for assistance to the man shot.

The negligence of the two shooters is inexcusable.It could rise ot the level of criminal action, but the initial charging papers went too far. The court was right to overturn the indictment.

R1hawk
R1hawk
2 years ago
Reply to  Jim

The article didn’t state the victim was found 800 feet from the shooters, he was found 8oo feet from where the officers initially responded, just like you stated. There are three points of reference in the story, where the shooters were, where the officers initially responded and where the victim was found.

Jim
Jim
2 years ago

I’m curious about what range they were trying to zero their rifles for. If a 308 round drops 56 inches in 500 yards and the man shot was almost half a mile (880 yards away) and hit in the abdomen.,……it would almost seem that their story about zeroing in the first place was bogus. Would a round make 880 yards after being skipped off dirt and hit 36 inches high with enough power to penetrate ? I’m not an experience long range rifleman or ballistics expert so, what would the conditions have to be to accomplish this ?

Macofjack
Macofjack
2 years ago

Always, Always, Always know what your backstop is!

Capt. Ed McCourt USMC (ret)
Capt. Ed McCourt USMC (ret)
2 years ago
Reply to  Macofjack

This is a sad / bad situation, especially for the level of Firearm safety and Marksmanship, these guys have been allegedly teach! They can use some serious counseling as they violated one of the four most important safety measures we teach beginner students. As an NRA LE Tactical shooting Instructor, Life member and Retired US Marine Corps Range Safety officer , and special operator, NRA, RSO, and IALEFI, Master firearm Instructor, with over 60 yrs experience as a trainer and several deployments into combat zones during War time as well as peace time. teaching thousands of Marines, LEO’s and Civilians… Read more »

Alan
Alan
2 years ago

Capt. Mc Cort: Though many years ago, I did come in 2nd Civilian Expert at a Quantico Regional or the Virginia State Championship, don’t remember which it was, shooting a bolt gun, my inconsistent shooting likely was the bane of at least one Quantico Gunnery Sgt. I also shot a bolt action left handed, being left eye dominant, actually I couldn’t see the sights With my right eye. That said, there was never any question regarding my shooting and safe gun handling, the latter being simply a question of common sense, which the guys “sighting in” a 30 caliber rifle… Read more »

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
2 years ago

Wow Capt. Ed McCourt USMC (ret), you just had to let everyone know you are God’s gift to the shooting world! If you think that spouting all of your aggrandizement means your are “perfect”, think again – there are plenty of supposed “experts” that do stupid shit too! AND it is often those “experts” that make mistakes because they let down their guard and think they are too good to screw up!

Joe
Joe
2 years ago

I can see the assault charge being dropped since there was no intent. But the reckless endangerment probably does not need to reach the level of intent to be a chargeable crime. But maybe it’s best that they are out of jail so that they can work for the rest of their lives to pay off the civil suit judgement. You can’t fix stupid, and stupid and guns don’t mix well.

Alan
Alan
2 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Your last cannot be to,often repeated.

JoeUSooner
JoeUSooner
2 years ago
Reply to  Joe

I whole-heartedly agree!

Stupid (which cannot be fixed) and guns (which cannot be made completely “safe” without losing all usefulness) do NOT mix well.

Mike the Limey
Mike the Limey
2 years ago

I wouldn’t call this an accident: It was gross negligence on their part, as any thinking person ensures there is a safe backstop & knows the basic safety rules of firearms use.
IMO they should have been prosecuted.

Roy D.
Roy D.
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike the Limey

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, there are a lot of stupid people that own guns.

kitchawan kid
kitchawan kid
2 years ago
Reply to  Roy D.

cars too

Repo
Repo
2 years ago
Reply to  Roy D.

I think you can say there are a lot of stupid people period. They own a lot of things that can harm themselves and others. To single out that they own guns is no more reasonable then saying they own cars,gas cans, or prescription meds. They can all harm people if not used safely.

Alan
Alan
2 years ago
Reply to  Repo

It’s not the gun, it’s the idiot holding the gun.

Roy D.
Roy D.
2 years ago
Reply to  Repo

Except that, in this instance, the harm was caused by negligence with a firearm. Let’s keep it on topic.

Repo
Repo
2 years ago
Reply to  Roy D.

I could be wrong because it’s hard to get someone’s beliefs out of a short sentence on a blog posting but you’re original comment came off as something an anti gun person would say. It sounded to me like look another case of an idiot with a gun this is why we need more laws… like I said it’s very hard to get someone’s intent from a quick sentence and maybe that’s not how you meant it but it is why I responded.