Idiots With Guns #68
Man says he mistook snorkeler for nutria
By Rebecca Nolan
Published: Friday, February 9, 2007
REEDSPORT - A man charged with shooting a Smith River snorkeler in the head told detectives he mistook the swimmer for a nutria, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said.
William Roderick, 60, of Reedsport was arraigned Thursday in Douglas County Circuit Court on charges including second-degree assault, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. He was being held in the Douglas County Jail in Roseburg on $700,000 bail. Roderick is accused of shooting 44-year-old John W. Chessman of Marcola once in the head as he snorkeled about 2 p.m. Tuesday. Chessman remained in serious condition Thursday in the cardiac intensive care unit at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland.
Roderick told detectives he was taking care of a house on Lower Smith River Road when he saw what he believed to be a nutria swimming in the river, sheriff's spokesman Dwes Hutson said. He grabbed a .22-caliber rifle and shot at what he thought was a large, water-dwelling rodent from a deck, he told detectives. He soon realized the rodent was in fact a man and ran to the river to help pull Chessman from the water. Chessman was conscious and able to speak after the shooting, Hutson said.
Witnesses drove Chessman to the Lower Smith River scale shack near Highway 101. From there, an ambulance took him to Lower Umpqua Hospital in Reedsport. He was later transferred to OHSU. Roderick led detectives to the gun, which he had thrown into the river after the shooting, Hutson said. He was convicted of felony drug possession in 1987 and therefore should not have had a gun in his possession, according to state court records.
We need some damned laws to keep guns out of the hands of drug crazed felons!!!!!...... wait a minute.....