Iowa man shooting air rifle at squirrel inadvertently wounds Marine

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City man shooting at a squirrel in his yard with an air rifle unintentionally shot and wounded a man from Missouri who was driving by at the time, law enforcement authorities said Friday.

Philip Olson, 69, of Iowa City, turned himself in to police after hearing about the man being injured on Oct. 17, Iowa City police and the Johnson County prosecutor’s office said.

Olson said he was shooting at the squirrel from inside his home and missed.

Police found a 20-year-old man inside a vehicle that had crashed. He appeared to be suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

The man’s family identified him as Gabriel Heefner, of Kirkwood, Missouri, a lance corporal in the Marines, who was visiting his grandparents, The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported. Heefner was taken to a hospital and remained hospitalized Friday.

Olson was cited for violating an Iowa City code that prohibits discharging air rifles or toy guns inside city limits. He also faces several violations of Iowa Department of Natural Resources regulations, including hunting without a license.

Iowa laws does not define air rifles as firearms or dangerous weapons, despite their capacity to injure or kill, authorities said in the news release.

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