A fatal shooting at Pimento, Ind., has been ruled an accident and no charges will be filed.
On Dec. 4 around 10 a.m., a 911 call was placed to the Vigo Co. Sheriff's Office from 13324 S. Vandyke Rd. to report a shooting in a wooded area about 0.5 mi. southeast of the residence.
Three boys had been hunting and target shooting when one of the boys, Coty M. Forbes, 12, was shot and later died.
"This was an accident and not an intentional shooting," said Conservation Officer Max Winchell. "This is a tragedy that has affected many people's lives in the community; of course, the families involved, but also the many friends and acquaintances of Coty."
Conservation Officer Ted Stine, a K-9 handler from Shelby Co., was called in to search the area to see if other people were in the vicinity at the time of the shooting and to locate any evidence.
According to information obtained in the two-week investigation, one of the teenagers shot his .22 rifle into a hollow tree stump and then raised the rifle to fire a second round when the gun went off, striking Coty Forbes in the chest.
At first, the boys said they thought the shot was fired by other people in the area, but those statements were found to be false.
"This was a very tedious investigation gathering evidence and separating fact from fiction," Winchell said. "There is no indication of any malice towards the unfortunate victim in this case."
There was a chilling lesson learned in connection with the death.
"The three boys had not attended a Hunter Education Class," Winchell said. "In this instance, following proper firearms handling procedures may have prevented this from happening."