Man Shoots At Armadillo, Hits His Mother-in-Law

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( — April 15, 2015)  — According the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Larry McElroy, 54, told the police he was outside when he took aim at an intruding armadillo with his 9mm pistol, WALB reported.

Allegedly, McElroy didn’t realize that armadillos have tough enough armor to actually deflect the bullet. It was not tough enough to protect the armadillo as it was pronounced dead at the scene. The mother-in-law was not seriously injured.

The 74-years-old mother-in-law, Carol Johnson, was preparing to rest at her mobile home when unusual guest appeared. An armadillo passed through the fence probably in search for a food, when it was spotted by Carol’s son-in-law who grabbed his 9mm handgun to deal with an intruder. McElroy fired a shot hitting the target. According to the son-in-law, the bullet then ricocheted off the armor and hit his wife’s mother.

“She was walking around under her own power and talking,” Lee County Sheriff’s Investigator Bill Smith told WALB. “It didn’t appear to be too severe.” Johnson was taken to a nearby hospital Sunday night.

“Just the circumstances, just all the way around, the whole situation was unusual,” Smith said.

According to James Morgan, the Dougherty County Extension Coordinator, McElroy didn’t invent the bad idea as shooting armadillos; it is recommended by the extension service. It turns out that officials permit and even recommend shooting armadillos for residents that live in the county.

“At first I ask if [callers] live in the city or county because shooting is an effective way of getting rid of them,” Morgan told WLAB. “However, you have to be safe when you do that,” he added.

To some residents, armadillos are considered a nuisance because, in their search for a food, they dig holes that destroy gardens, Scott Frazier, a Georgia Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist, told Fox News.

Reportedly, discharging a handgun at an armadillo isn’t seen as a problem, but Mr. McElroy’s choice of weapons was. Stating that Mrs. Johnson and her son-in-law should consider themselves lucky, Lee County Sheriff’s Investigator Bill Smith recommend using a shotgun instead handgun.

“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 said.

No charges were filed in the case, officials confirmed.