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A police officer that was trying to kill a snake fired a stray bullet that hit and killed a 5 year-old boy who was fishing in a nearby pond.

Austin Haley was fishing with his grandfather, Jack Tracy, on Friday, August 3 when the accident occurred. Tracy stated that he heard and saw a bullet fall into the water only a few feet away from the boat they were fishing in and then seconds later there was another shot that hit the boy in the head.

Tracy first thought that they were under attack so he put the boy in his vehicle and drove him to his mother’s house only a few hundred yards away. The boy was pronounced dead at an Oklahoma hospital later that night.

Investigators think that a police officer, who was trying to kill a snake in a resident’s tree, fired the deadly shots. The City Manager, Bob Wade, would not identify the name of the officer who is suspected of firing the shots. Wade states that the officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Officials say they are almost certain that the police officer’s bullet was the one that killed Haley, but they will still have a full investigation.

The grandfather is sure that the bullet came from the police officer’s gun.

“I’m not saying the cop shot him on purpose,” Tracy said. “It was an accident. But let me tell you — if I had a kid and put him in this car and didn’t put him in a car seat and he got killed on the way to town, they’d charge me with murder … and what this cop did is a lot worse than that.”

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Wrongful Death.

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