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      Middle school shooting brings up hunting safety awareness

      A valley firearms expert is weighing in after two Edinburg middle schoolers were allegedly shot by a man accused of poaching on a nearby ranch.

      "Whenever children come to harm from firearms we want to do everything we can to prevent this from ever happening again."

      Kevin Ramsey, Vice President of the Pharr Rifle & Pistol Club, says the incident which sent the two boys into surgery could have been avoided if the person holding the firearm actually followed the rules which include being aware of what is behind the target.

      "For any pistol shooter, rifle shooter, shotgun shooter, in order to have a safe shot they would follow all the rules. In this case, for someone to come to harm, the individual in question broke all these safety rules."

      The Hidalgo County Sheriff TMs office has not released the exact caliber of the weapon that shot the teens, but the person in custody for the shooting was found with a .223 rifle.

      Authorities also say that the shooter was 800 yards away from the boys, well beyond a straight shot from any common hunting rifle according to Ramsey.

      "I would need to have specific training to hit that target at that distance, wind calculations, as well as, particular caliber. An untrained individual shooting any target at 800 yards is not going to hit his target."

      That's why this expert in firearms speculates that the alleged shooter is either inexperienced or extremely irresponsible, and may not even be a licensed hunter.

      All still part of the ongoing investigation.

      "A US Marine Corps Sniper doesn't even do his sniper qualifications at 500 yards, so an average rifle shooter shooting 800 is pretty far stretched."