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December 21, 2007

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Breaking News Update: Authorities Find Probable Shooter in Teen Goose Hunter’s Death, Call Incident “Just a Tragic Accident”

On Wednesday we posted a story about 18-year-old Kansan Beau Arndt, who was killed while goose hunting by a single rifle shot fired, witnesses said, from a red pickup truck driving slowly by. In your comments, most of you argued that this was no hunting accident but the predictable result of blatant poaching. So you’ll probably be very interested in the latest:

From The Wichita Eagle:

A 57-year-old Topeka man who was taken into custody Wednesday “appears to be the shooter” who killed an Americus, Kan., teen as he hunted last weekend. . . .

“It appears to just be a tragic accident,” [Lyon County Sheriff Gary] Eichorn said. . . .

Bob Arndt Jr. said he bears no ill will for the man who killed his son.

“It’s purely an innocent accident to an innocent child, and it’s a horrible tragedy,” he said. “But we all have loss.

“We wish this guy no harm, no revenge,” he said. “He has my sympathy, going through what he has to go through. . . .

The shooting caused anger and frustration among Lyon County residents and sportsmen around the region because Beau Arndt was hunting legally and killed by an illegally fired bullet. . . .

“I don’t know what it is — they just see blood,” he said of many online bloggers. “They want to take everything upon themselves.

“This needs to be left up to the courts and the justice system. . . .”

Investigators hope to present evidence in the case to the Lyon County attorney’s office today, Eichorn said.

In addition to any charges the shooter faces in Arndt’s death, he also could face federal and state wildlife charges.

Be sure to check out the full story.



I still say he should get man-slaughter.


I agree. He should still be charged in some way for the boy's death. I will say it is very big of the father to be so forgiving. That would be a tremendously difficult thing for anybody to do.


The reason why bloggers are outraged is because this is outrageous. But, hey, it isn't like we're going to go lynch the guy, so I don't know what the authorities are worried about. It will be handled by them and the courts, of course. Meanwhile, we are all still entitled to our opinions.


Despite this sherrif's unfortunate choice of words in calling this an "accident," it does appear that the shooter may still be charged. Let's wait and see.


Forgive me, but I don't think Mr. Arndt is thinking clearly during this stressful time. It is not "an innocent accident".

The facts as known today:

The 57-year old shooter had rented a cabin nearby for hunting purposes. Evidence that he knew, or should have known, what hunting is about.

Real hunters know that shooting from a vehicle is illegal unless you have a disability permit.

Real hunters know that shooting from the road or across the road is illegal.

Real hunters know that shooting onto private property without permission is illegal.

Real hunters know that shooting waterfowl with a rifle is illegal.

If he claims he thought he was shooting at decoys, then he is either a liar or a dangerous fool. Real hunters know that where decoys are deployed, concealed humans are nearby.

After he fired, and the decoys did not take flight, why did he flee? Perhaps he knew he had broken numerous laws and concealed witnesses were likely nearby?

This was not an accident. The shooter deserves no sympathy. This was a series of willful acts committed without due regard for the law and the safety of others. He must be scorned and punished harshly.

I pray I never find myself behaving as the shooter. Then will I have lost my self and be deserving of untold shame.

Brucie Boy

Very well put Jack. I can't imagine there not being any prosecution in this case. Mr. Arndt's forgiveness, though, is his to give and we should all be humbled by it.


I wish I were articulate as you guys are. I am beside myself "Hunting accident"Tragic accident" There is nothing accidental about this!Tragic, all the way around. Everything this man did was absolutely deliberate and we will see if he pays the proper consequences. This kids father is a better man than I am. I can only hope if some idiot shot and killed my son I could have his forgiveness!

shooting acrosse road, not illegal..... shooting onto private property, also not illegal


I'm gonna steal the line from a lot of firearms safety folks and make the distinction between an ACCIDENT and an INCIDENT. An accident can't be avoided no matter what. It just happens. An incident could be avoided, and is the direct result of someone taking action.

A tree falls, a sinkhole opens, a strange electrical charge triggers an explosion or fire... those are accidents.

Shooting someone while cleaning your rifle, showing off a handgun, or poaching geese from the roadside is an incident.

This isn't to lay any intent on the person who did it, but it DOES AND SHOULD lay responsibility on him.

It is tragic, to the family and loved ones of this kid, and to the man who shot him. I feel sympathy for all parties, but I don't feel that it should be blown off simply as a "tragic accident."

At the same time, I agree completely with the following:

"I don’t know what it is — they just see blood,” he said of many online bloggers. “They want to take everything upon themselves.

“This needs to be left up to the courts and the justice system."

WA Mtnhunter

get a rope


The father is definately a bigger man than I am. I would be in jail if that were my child. How is that any different than a drunk driver killing someone with a vehicle? How can they not press charges for man-slaughter? That boys death was direct result of the man irresponsibly firing his weapon. It gets harder to be a gun advocate when idiot worthless scum are given the same freedoms that responible, ethical, and law abiding people have. That man should not be allowed any freedoms outside of a maximum security prison.


I'm sure that is he had any idea there were people there, he would not have shot.

Does it make him any less guilty? Of course it does; he never meant to hurt anyone.

Should he have been able to realize how dangerous what he was doing was? I dunno.

This is so crazy it's hard for me to think about it all clearly and come up with my final thoughts on it. Which is a very rare thing for me.


Who is the goomba that said it is not iilegal to shoot across aroad or on to private property? It is in every state I have hunted in!


what do Italians have to do with this, Greg?


Thats 2 keyboards I have spit all over today! Stop it! Just a word that came to mind no offense intended. Thats insulting to goombas. How about any derogatory term ending in ass would better describe them?


In NY it's not illegal to shoot on private property


I think the comment was ONTO private property. He shot onto prvate property from or across a public road. That is iilegal in my state,AR. Any way there is a young man dead because of someones stupidity.


LOLOL, not offended, just thought i would post a funny reply...

In NY, it is not illegal to shoot into private property (is illegal to shoot from a road, tho). You have to be off the road and off the shoulder.

And yes, most definitely a horribly tragic thing...

I do also feel for the shooter tho b/c I am sure that never in a million years did he think there were people there.

Stupid & illegal aginst game laws, yes, but he never meant to hurt anyone, and that will play a big part in what he will be charged with, I'm sure.

as moeggs

All we see is blood and want to take matters into our own hands? Heck yeah. It's up to the courts to charge him, but it's up to jury of your peers to find him guilty. This could be one of you so don't screw it up! IT's time to start fixing stupid. Lets take this lost idiot back to his village in Texas!


I think this kids father understands that this guy wasn't out out to hurt his son. This guy was just unethically trying to harvest a goose.

He will have to pay for his illegal activities and that is good and fair. There are inherant risks to hunting that we must accept and this is the extreme end of those risks. It isn't fair and it isn't right, but if you are going to go out you have to accept that on a very rare occasions these things happens.


I guess Im just simple minded because I just cannot have sympathy or empathy for this guy. He made terrible choice after terrible choice on that day. We have to pay for our bad choices. I made a bad choice 16 months ago and it will affect my family forever. I will also be crippled forever. Have empathy for my family not for me . My choice and I have to pay. I will be able to provide again and have the rest of my life to make up for my choice. That young man will never see his family in this world again. A mother has no son. A Father will never see his son become a man. Call me what you will, I dont care, I just cannot feel bad in any form for this guy.His family absolutely. I hope they can some how come through this as ok as they can be.


Jason "just unethically trying to harvest a goose". Its called POACHING! I agree with you he did not deliberately try to hurt any one. Does that make that young man less dead? Not trying to argue guess we just wear different colored glasses.


I absolutely believe and agree with Jack's statement and need to add; Why would an "ethical" hunter shoot into another hunter"s set-up? Too much of this article does'nt make sense. And a dark cloud is cast upon all hunters. I believe we need to "take care of our own" and throw the book at this man and send out the messege to all that hunters ARE GOOD people and yes there are un-informed and un-educated people in every walk of life, and NOT turn this into a gun control frenzy that I'm sure they are waiting to do. I feel so bad for the victim and his family and we should focus on helping them through all this!!

John R

This is indeed a test of our justice system. He may be charged with manslaughter. I doubt he will be charged with murder in any degree because it will be impossible to prove intent. He certainly should have to face some sort of responsibility for his actions. As far throwing the book at him well that's a slippery slope. We are all justifiably outraged at this tragedy, but when we start looking to create charges or stretch the law to prosecute someone we must be remember that it is a two way street. If a D.A. can stretch the law in one case the D.A. can repeat the process later in another. Accidental shootings happen every hunting season and that makes them no less tragic. Some of these shootings involved hunters legally hunting, and who have taken the hunter safety course. Some incidents I have read about have involved hunters who have years of experience. I agree the particular subject of this article has aggravating circumstances but as stated previously let the courts handle it and hope common sense prevails. We should remember the boy's family in our thoughts and prayers during this holiday season. It will be a difficult time for that family.

Eric B

Let him swing from a tree

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