15-year-old boy shoots farmworker during target practice near Porterville, deputies say

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Tulare County Sheriff's Office had strong words after a teenager shot a man during target practice. It happened west of Porterville on Friday morning.

Shots rang out near Road 208 and Avenue 148 outside Poplar. Someone had been hit several times in a field. The farmworker was rushed to the hospital, and Tulare County deputies believe he was hit with a .22-caliber rifle by a 15-year-old boy.

"He was firing it in what appears to be an unsafe manner and without an appropriate backdrop," said Lt. Rob Schimpf with the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

Schimpf says the farmworker is expected to be OK, but the teen they believe is responsible is in some serious trouble.

"Anybody that fires a firearm, regardless of their environment, regardless of it being in a rural area, they need to realize that they're responsible for the disposition of any round that they fire," said Schimpf.

The rifle and other guns were taken from the home. Adults living there will have to go through a process with the Department of Justice to reclaim the weapons. As for the teen, he could be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

"His actions have resulted in harm to another. Even as a juvenile, those are certainly things he's going to have to face," said Schimpf.

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