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Douds Youth Killed In Gun Accident: 1970


Posted By: Volunteer: Sherri
Date: 4/14/2020 at 22:09:52

**Handwritten: Rec. Rep. 21 May 1970
(also see Book F, Page 285)

Douds Youth Killed In Gun Accident

A 15-year-old Douds youth was accidentally shot to death Saturday afternoon by a 10-year-old friend.

The victim was Kenton Thorn, one of four children of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Thorn who live on a farm four miles southwest of Douds. The other boy involved was Randall Harryman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Harryman, who live near the Thorn farm.

Name of the Harryman boy was withheld by authorities until late Sunday because his father was out of town. After locating Harryman at Fargo, N.D. officials released the boy's name.

The shooting took place at 3:50 p.m. in the Thorn yard as the two boys were preparing to go mushroom hunting. The Harryman boy had been using the 12gauge shotgun to shoot at birds and muskrats near a farm pond. He had about six No. 2 shells left out of the 11 shells he left home with.

Van Buren County Sheriff Orville Lee, who investigated the shooting with the Iowa Highway Patrol and the State Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said the Thorn youth took a shell from his friend's jacket pocket and place it in the empty shotgun.

The Harryman boy stated he was playing with the shotgun when it discharged, striking the Thorn youth in the mouth at close range.

An autopsy ordered by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation was conducted Monday, but Sheriff Lee said he does not expect any charges to be filed in connection with the shooting.

First indications of the "scuffle" proved to be not true. The Harryman boy said he was so distraught after the shooting he tore some flaps off his leather cap. Seeing the pieces of cap on the ground caused officers to wonder about a scuffle. The spent shotgun shell was found some 59 feet away from the body. Randall told officers he remembered picking up the shell and later dropping it. He is a fifth grade student at Douds.

The dead youth was a freshman at Van Buren Community High School in Keosauqua. The body was taken to the Pedrick Funeral Home in Douds, where services were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, with the Rev. Willis Grant officiating. Burial was in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery near Douds.

Source: "Slutts Book", Page 401, Keosauqua Public Library, Keosauqua, IA


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