Boy’s death ruled accidental in shooting

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 2, 2005

Dallas County Sheriff’s Department investigators ruled that the death of 12-year-old Harry Reese Jr. was accidental.

Reese, who was an eighth-grader at CHAT Academy, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound with a .30-30 rifle Thursday evening in a field off of County Road 74.

How Reese accidentally shot himself with the rifle while in the tree stand is a mystery to investigators.

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“There ain’t but two people that know and that’s him and God,” Sheriff Harris Huffman said. “His uncle and a friend of his uncle took him hunting, he was in a tripod.

They told him not to load the gun until he got set and they went on. Twenty minutes after that, they heard a gun shot and felt like he’d probably killed a deer.”

Barge, the family friend who accompanied Reese and his uncle, said at first they thought the boy was kidding when didn’t come down from the tripod.

Then they knew something was wrong.

“So we walked across the field to the tripod and we got over there and he was already dead,” Barge said.

A post-mortem examination is being done on the body through the department of forensic science.

“We always do (that) with an incident like this, though we haven’t heard anything back from them,” Huffman said. “It was by all appearances an accidental shooting.”

Huffman sent his condolences to the family and admitted that the case was a tough one for the deputies.

“Any time something like this happens it bothers all the deputies and investigators in the whole department,” Huffman said. “A young man just starting out in life and to die as a result of an sheer accident, everyone sends our sincere condolences to the family.”

Huffman added that it’s is the first hunting death of the season in Dallas County.

Thursday night, Barge, reflected on how excited the boy had been before going out in the field.

“He said ‘I bought me a grunt today at Wal-Mart,'” Barge said. “He was all excited about it, he had me laughing. He got excited about hunting.”