Georgia man's bullet bounces off armadillo, hits mother-in-law

Larry McElroy shot at an armadillo about 100 yards away from Carol Johnson's mobile home, but the bullet bounced off the animal and struck the woman in the back.

Ben Hooper

LEESBURG, Ga., April 14 (UPI) -- Police in Georgia said a bullet fired at an armadillo ricocheted off the animal's armored hide and struck the shooter's mother-in-law.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office said Larry McElroy, 54, fired his 9 mm pistol at an armadillo Sunday night and the bullet bounced off the animal's armored skin and went through a fence, a door and a chair to strike mother-in-law Carol Johnson, 74, in the back.


Investigators said McElroy was about 100 yards away from Johnson's home when he fired the shot, which killed the armadillo.

Bill Smith, an investigator with the sheriff's office, said Johnson was not severely injured. "She was walking around on her own power and talking," Smith told WALB-TV. "It didn't appear to be too severe. They took her to Phoebe North [hospital]."

He described the case, which did not lead to any arrests or citations, as bizarre.

"Just the circumstances, just all the way around, the whole situation was unusual," Smith said.

Smith said shooting at nuisance armadillos is not against the law, but McElroy might want to use a different gun next time.

"I really think if they're going to shoot at varmints and whatnot, maybe use a shotgun... with a spread pattern with a lot less range," Smith said.


Armadillos are often seen as a nuisance by those whose lawns and gardens have been targeted by the skilled diggers.

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