State official lets BB-gun wound slide

A Colorado water commissioner declined to press charges after being shot with an errant high-powered BB round fired by a camper near Fruita Reservoir 3, according to a Mesa County Sheriff’s Department incident report.

Water Commissioner Thomas Brigham, who oversees the Lower Dolores, Little Dolores and West Creek basins on behalf of the Colorado Division of Water Resources, was inspecting a flume at the reservoir Thursday with several others, including Fruita Public Works Director Tom Houston, when they heard a single “loud gunshot,” and Brigham said something hit him in the right thigh, the report said. The Sheriff’s Department was called to the area at 1:45 p.m.

Brigham suffered a dime-sized bruise and estimated he was shot from a distance of about 50 feet.

The incident report said Brigham and his party confronted a teenage boy whom they saw running from the area, who was also allegedly observed tossing a rifle into a nearby tent. The weapon was later determined to be a Daisy Powerline 856.

The boy explained he’d been aiming at a black bird, a claim which Brigham doubted because he said his golden retriever was with him and there was no sign of any birds in the area when he was hit.

The commissioner declined to press charges, telling a deputy he’d “rather this be a teaching lesson and have the male attend a hunter safety course to learn the importance of gun safety,” according to the report.

The teenager, however, had a Colorado State Hunter safety card and produced it for deputies. He was reminded, among other points, there’s no current open season for any animal.

“It was agreed (boy) would meet with a local concealed carry instructor or range instructor and review gun safety and hunting safety,” the report said.

Brigham and the boy “shook hands and parted ways,” the report said.


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You’ll shoot yer eye out, kid!

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