Man shot 14-year-old neighbour in back of head as she played hide and seek

David Doyle told police he grabbed his gun after he ‘observed shadows outside his home’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 11 May 2023 09:50 BST
Related video: Father speaks on daughter shot, killed for turning into wrong driveway

A man in Louisiana has been detained after he shot his 14-year-old neighbour in the back of the head as she played hide and seek in his yard.

David Doyle, 58, told the authorities that he “unknowingly” struck the girl after he discharged his firearm at a group running away from his home who turned out to be a number of children playing hide and seek.

A press release from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office states that police were called to the scene in a small Lake Charles neighbourhood early on Sunday.

The wounded teen girl was found at the scene, after which police learned that multiple children had been playing in the area and hiding on the property of a neighbour.

“When detectives spoke with the property owner, David V. Doyle, 58, [of] Starks, he stated he observed shadows outside his home, at which time he went inside and retrieved his firearm,” the press release said.

Mr Doyle told investigators that he went outside and started firing his gun at those he spotted running away from the home.

The teenager was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Members of her family told KPLC7 News that she’s “okay and recovering”.

The local TV station reported that the area where the shooting occurred “is a dead-end road with only three residents: Doyle, the victim’s family and a relative to the victim’s family”.

An area resident connected to the teenager’s family told The Daily Beast that Mr Doyle’s nephew was one of those playing hide and seek with the wounded teen girl.

“Things like this need to stop,” the resident told the outlet. “I believe in people owning guns, but your life has to be in danger first. That man’s life was not in danger… It was just lucky, that her guardian angel had their hand on her, and it wasn’t worse than it was.”

Mr Doyle was booked on Sunday at 6.45am, according to online jail records.

He has been charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault with a firearm, and illegal discharge of a firearm.

This incident is just one of several similar incidents recently. Older people have shot several younger individuals after they made simple and harmless mistakes.

Ralph Yarl, a Black 16-year-old honour student, was shot and wounded last month after he accidentally rang the door of an 84-year-old resident in Missouri.

Two days later, Kaylin Gillis, 20, was shot and killed by a 65-year-old man after she was in a car alongside others that entered his driveway in upstate New York as they were looking for the house of a friend.

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