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Boy Accidentally Kills His Sister in Bandon, Ore.


In late May 1916, the accidental shooting of a little girl by her brother shook up the little coastal village of Bandon, Ore.

Seven-year-old Susie Neathery and her older brother, Ozie, had gone on a Tuesday afternoon to get some groceries.  Knowing that Susie had seen some panther tracks in the area and aware that a particularly mean bull lived along the country road, Ozie put a revolver in his pocket.  To keep it from falling out, he placed it handle-first with the muzzle protruding out.  

On their way home from the store, Susie was walking ahead picking flowers.  When she turned to speak to Ozie, the gun discharged and killed her instantly.  Ozie had been holding the muzzle of the gun when it fired and suffered severe powder burns to a hand.  It was ruled an accident and the brother wasn’t charged with his sister’s death.

Their father spoke later to reporters, saying, “the little girl is gone and we can do nothing for her, but we do not want the boy to be tampered by a misunderstanding of the circumstances surrounding the affair.”

Source:  "Boy Carried Gun For Protection." The Bandon Recorder 30 May 1916. Oregon Historic Newspapers. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.

Dmitri Shockey is a high school junior attending Logos Public Charter School. Dmitri also attends Rogue Community College part time and after high school hopes to start a career as a foreign correspondent. Volunteering with As It Was has given Dmitri a unique opportunity to glimpse what a career in journalism will be like.