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Georgia man kills armadillo, but ricochet gunshot hits mother-in-law

LEESBURG, Ga. - Authorities say a south Georgia man shot an armadillo, but ended up accidentally wounding his mother-in-law when the bullet ricocheted off the mammal known for its hard shell.

Lee County Sheriff's deputies tell WALB-TV that 54-year-old Larry McElroy fired his 9 mm pistol at the armadillo Sunday night.

Deputies say the bullet killed the armadillo, but bounced off the animal, hit a fence, traveled through the back door of the mother-in-law's mobile home and the recliner in which she was sitting, striking her in the back.

McElroy's 74-year-old mother-in-law, Carol Johnson, suffered injuries described as non-life-threatening. Lee County sheriff's investigator Bill Smith said she was walking around and talking afterward.

"Just the circumstances, just all the way around, the whole situation was unusual," Smith told WALB-TV.

Lee County Sherriff's deputies say McElroy was about 100 yards away from the home when he shot the armadillo.

Smith told WALB-TV that using a shotgun would have been a better idea.

"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.

No charges were filed.

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