Friday, March 20, 2015

Teen Left Paralyzed after Pellet Gun Negligent Discharge
Javier Castillo, 18, is facing aggravated assault charges after leaving his friend paralyzed from the waist down this week from an air rifle pellet in the spine. (Photo: WMSV)

Guns dot com

Three teens found out first hand that an air rifle is not a toy when one aimed a pellet gun at another’s spine, pulled the trigger, and left him instantly without feeling below the waist.

The incident occurred in Shelbyville, Tennessee earlier this week and resulted in one teen being charged with aggravated assault and another fighting to regain the ability to walk.

As reported by WSMV, Javier Castillo, 18, of King Arthur Trailer Park was sitting around with two of his friends when he picked up an air rifle he believed to be unloaded, pointed the gun at Kyle Lee Burnett, and pulled the trigger.

“He told me he was just going to point it at Kyle and aim at him through the scope, but he somehow pulled the trigger,” Shelbyville Police officer Tory Moore noted in his report. “He said he was just messing around and did not mean to shoot his friend.”

The air rifle used in the accident, an Ignite Black Ops Tactical Sniper, fires a .177 pellet at velocities of up to 1,000fps.

Black Ops notes on its website that, “Safety is the top priority when handling, transporting, storing, and shooting air guns,” and cautions its users to only point an air rifle in a safe direction and always act as if it were loaded.


  1. I know they're excercising their literary creativity and all, but along with the passive voice thing used as attempt to place blame on the weapon, calling an adult a "teen" also seems to distance the adult from the expectation of taking adult level responsibility for bad decisions.
    Bad enough when it's used to inflate gun violence numbers. In this case, the man who made the bad decision is looking at an adult charge of aggravated assault, just as he would for the use of a real firearm.

    1. It's correct to call an 18, or 19 year old a teen. Depending on the law, they may, or may not be a legal adult in the eyes of the law. I don't know the law in TN. It's the mistake of the reader to consider a teen, not an adult.
      "just as he would for the use of a real firearm."
      Do you consider the weapon used here to not be a real gun?

    2. As the article very clearly stated, it is not considered a firearm in the eyes of the law. The aggravated assault charge is weapon neutral and can be used no matter what is used to cause harm.
      Whether it fits the legal definition of a firearm or not doesn't absolve the person wielding it of responsibility for its misuse, as we are seeing here.

    3. It may be literally correct to call an 18 or 19-year-old a teen, but I agree with ss, to do so is to deflect attention from the fact that he's also an adult.

      We've had similar discussions lately.

    4. Peter,

      18 is the age of majority most of the US, and indeed most of the world, including Tennessee. Drinking and owning a handgun aren't legal until 21, but 18 year olds are considered adults. The only states with exceptions that I've heard of are Alabama, Mississippi, and Nebraska, and I haven't verified the law in those states.

    5. "As the article very clearly stated, it is not considered a firearm in the eyes of the law."
      It should be.

  2. Mike, this is a 1000fps air rifle. Of course it is not a "toy". This is not a kid's BB gun, or kids' pellet gun, it's a "real" gun- just powered by air instead of by powder. It's closer to a .22LR rifle than a "red rider" that you want banned.

    Do you still want to ban this?

    1. No, not really. I would like them controlled exactly like real guns, however.

    2. No, not really. I would like them controlled exactly like real guns, however.

      In other words, TS, he wants it almost banned (and utterly banned, for half the adult population--and all the sub-adult population), just as he wants with "real guns."