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Clinton child dies of accidental gunshot

Posted November 28, 2011

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— An 8-year-old from Clinton died Friday, the victim of an accidental shooting as he and some friends tried to hunt squirrels in Bladen County, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Commission.

According to the sheriff's office, James Ethan Bartley and two friends, ages 11 and 12, were playing unsupervised at a home on Soup Haire Road outside Elizabethtown. They found the .22 caliber rifle in an outbuilding and decided to go hunting.

One of the older boys tripped while carrying the rifle, it fired and hit James in the side. He was taken to UNC Hospitals, where he died, the sheriff's office said. 


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  • mojo110713 Nov 30, 2011

    its a sad tragic loss of life and im sure it was an accident my thoughts and prayers go out to the family with much love and respect to all

  • tarcar81 Nov 30, 2011

    ethan had the most loving parents.if anyone knew them they would not say anyting ugly about them.they would never wish anything to happen to there son.his mom dedicates everyday taking care of people and loves her children.please let them grieve in peace.thanks

  • daphysco1 Nov 30, 2011

    WRAL has the story all wrong. Ethan was not left alone. His mom was at work nursing at a hospital. His stepdad was right next door along with his grandpa and great grandma. There were 2 20yr olds home with the neighbor children. Ethan just went to the neighbors to play. Ethan did not get the gun out that building. He did not know it was there. We did not send our child to the neighbor's to get killed. We are grieving and hurting enough. All these lies circulating are killing us inside. Please let us grieve the loss of our son.

  • Love my boys Nov 29, 2011

    Praying for all involved. Please store your guns safely!

  • sabby06 Nov 29, 2011

    my prayers are with the family. it's an accident people. i sure the family is beating themselves up enough with the regrets without the help of others putting them down. Its hard enough to lose someone yu love without the negative comments .. help build them up. show love and support..... have a heart geez!!!!

  • Statick Nov 29, 2011

    8 years old...

    Lord, these people and these guns...

  • ncdixie1 Nov 29, 2011

    These kids didn't/don't live in the city or town. Huntin' is a normal activity. Probably not the first time they had their hands on a 22. This child tripped and fell. That is indeed an accident. That could happen to an experienced adult shooter or hunter too. God bless him, his family and friends. Extra prayer for the other kid, the one who lives. God bless you and your family too missscarlet.

  • maduda Nov 29, 2011

    There are no "accidental gunshots", only negligent discharges.

  • smissscarlet Nov 29, 2011

    What a terrible accident. We lost a 12 year old family member in a hunting accident as well. While I have compassion for those who are grieving, my utmost sympathy goes to the child whose death could have been prevented. I don't believe anyone who has posted comments about gun SAFETY is lacking in compassion for the tragedy...I think the point is they wish people would take SAFETY seriously enough that no more of these tragedies occur. I am pretty sure if this child had died as a result of a car accident while his parent was drunk driving, people would be entitled to righteous indignation...well, negligence is negligence and people are righteously indignant right now. I would be more horrified if people were NOT upset about this.

  • Disabled Vet Nov 29, 2011

    Proper education ona handling firearms and common sense of the gun owner could have prevented this tragic event from happening.