“Robert Liebkemann, 77, (above) was at the camp in a marsh near Delacroix over the weekend with two young relatives,” Louisiana’s sunherald.com reports. “Liebkemann and the boys had returned to the hunting camp, which [Plaquemines Parish sheriff’s Lt. Eric] Becnel said, after a morning hunt and the boys began shooting at targets with a .22 rifle while Liebkemann supervised.”
What’s not reported: what kind of targets the boys were shooting at. One can only surmise that they were metal or contained metal pieces.
Becnel said a bullet ricocheted off the target and hit Liebkemann in the upper chest.
Plaquemines and St. Bernard parish sheriff’s officials and the U.S. Coast Guard responded, Becnel said. Liebkemann was taken by Coast Guard helicopter to University Medical Center in New Orleans, where he was pronounced dead.
If you’re shooting at anything containing metal — iPads, washing machines, televisions, etc. — think again. At the very least maintain a large distance from the target, keep a tourniquet and bandages on hand and be trained and prepared to use them (which you should whenever you’re shooting).
Even purpose-built metal targets can create debilitating or deadly ricochets. (Proper steel targets are angled toward the ground to channel ricochets into the ground. Hanging targets are not.) When shooting steel, you’re well advised to shoot frangible ammo, like Sinterfire rounds.
Also be aware that rocks and any other hard object will fragment and send potentially harmful pieces back at the shooter. So be aware of your target, what’s beyond and what it’s made of.