Teen Killed in Claiborne Cty by Someone Shooting @ Movement
Sheriff: Lack of orange clothing likely led to fatal hunting accident in Claiborne
By Hayes Hickman, Don Jacobs
Posted November 28, 2011 at 12:04 p.m.,
Authorities say a simple lack of orange clothing likely led to the fatal shooting that killed a teenage boy who was deer hunting with his grandfather in Claiborne County over the weekend.
Devin Smith, 15, of Middlesboro, Ky., died after being shot in the abdomen/chest area shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday while hunting in the Bacchus community in northern Claiborne County, according to Sheriff David Ray.
At the time Devin was a few feet away from his grandfather, Leonard Duffield, 64, of Tazewell, Tenn.
The fatal round was fired by another hunter in the area, David Wayne Rowland, 66, also of Tazewell.
On Monday, detectives recovered a .270-caliber rifle cartridge approximately 45 yards away from where Devin was struck amid a heavily wooded area with thick underbrush and accessible only by foot.
Rowland saw movement in the brush and fired, he told authorities.
All three hunters were dressed in camouflage — none wore any orange clothing, the sheriff said.
"It has every indication of being a stupid accident," said Ray, an avid hunter himself. "How easy it would have been to have a cap on, some orange. It would have made a difference."
The shooting occurred on private land near the boundary between Duffield's property and adjacent land owned by a relative of Rowland.
"The grandfather thought he had let his gun go off because of the proximity of his grandson," Ray said. "Then the other guy came over and admitted he had fired his gun."
State law mandates 500 square inches of hunter orange be worn by hunters carrying certain weapons, Ray said. Devin was carrying a. 22-caliber rifle, which does not require he wear orange, the sheriff said.
Both Rowland and Duffield should have been wearing orange based on the type of weapons with which they were hunting, Ray said. Duffield was hunting with a .243-caliber rifle while Rowland was using a .270-caliber gun.
Devin was four days shy of his 16th birthday.
"This is a strong message on why hunters should wear orange," said Ray. "I can't get that out of my mind. It's so sad to think that if we could have one more opportunity to do something just one simple thing."
The sheriff said the findings from his office's investigation will be forwarded to the district attorney general's office to determine whether criminal charges are warranted.http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/nov/2 ... en-killed/