Man Shoots Armadillo, Bullet Ricochets and Hits Mother-in-law


Are armadillos bulletproof? A freak accident in Lee County, Georgia has law enforcement asking that very question after a local man shot one of the critters, only to have the ricochet hit his mother-in-law. According to WALB, the shooting happened on Sunday when Larry McElroy fired his 9x19mm pistol at an armadillo outside. The animal died as a result of the injury, but the bullet ricocheted off its shell, went through a fence, and pierced a nearby mobile home, eventually striking his mother-in-law in the back. KHQ reported that the shot was made 100 yards away from the home.

“Just the circumstances, just all the way around, the whole situation was unusual,” said Lee County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Bill Smith.

Fortunately, 74-year-old Carol Johnson was not seriously hurt and is currently recovering. Officials are not considering filing any charges against McElroy, although they have recommended using different methods of armadillo removal in the future. Armadillos can be trapped by placing a raccoon cage over their burrow, while some people ward off the armored critters with coyote urine or use pesticide to kill the worms and insects they love to eat. Using a firearm to dispatch the animals can also be safe, when done correctly.

“I really think if they’re going to shoot at varmints and whatnot, maybe use a shotgun with a spread pattern with a lot less range,” Smith suggested.

Despite their layered plates of hard dermal bone, armadillos are far from being bulletproof.

You can watch an interview with local officials below.

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