Ohio Amish Teen Hit In Head By Possible Stray Bullet

man-by-plow-in-field-wayne-coFrom newsnet5.com:

KIDRON, Ohio – A 17-year-old Amish boy was shot in the head while plowing a field Thursday morning in Kidron.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department reports John Hershberger was struck with a .22 caliber bullet just after 9 a.m.

Investigators said it’s possible the stray bullet was fired by someone hunting squirrels and it just happened to come down on top of John’s head.

“The odds of this happening are one in a million,” said Captain Doug Hunter.

John was using a horse-drawn plow when he felt something strike him in the head.

He noticed he was bleeding and walked to his home to tell his father about the injury.

The young man was taken to the hospital where the bullet was removed (it had lodged in his head but did not penetrate his skull).

It turns out John had better fortune than another teen in the same community a few years ago.

This incident recalls a case in 2011 when an Amish girl named Rachel Yoder was shot in the head and killed while driving a buggy home from a Christmas party. For a number of days the circumstances around that event were unknown, causing a lot of fear in the community.

It later emerged that another member of the community had discharged a hunting rifle into the air, with the bullet traveling over a mile before striking the girl. He was later charged with reckless homicide.

The shooter in this latest instance remains unknown, and there are no witnesses who heard the shot.


Hunting is popular with many Amish. Guns are fairly common, both for hunting purposes and for eliminating pests on farms.

As noted above, Captain Hunter called the possibility of this happening “one in a million.” If that’s the case, it would be the second such one in a million event in the past few years.

Given that, a couple of possibilities come to mind: it was intentional, or there continue to be some careless hunters (and perhaps, poor hunting practices in general) in the community–even following Rachel Yoder’s death.

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    1. Sue

      Not the only ones

      Just had to put one of my horses down due to a stray bullet fired by coyote hunters. Hit the mare in the front leg and shattered her elbow and destroyed the blood supply to the leg. Of course, they denied they had done it but they were sent packing with some seriously harsh words anyway. Could have hit people as easily as the horse. Stupid!

      1. That’s awful. Hard to believe people don’t think through where these bullets can land. I guess in more remote areas you could more easily rationalize that “there’s nothing out there” or that the chances of hitting something are miniscule. But obviously it happens.

    2. Osiah Horst


      I don’t own a gun, have never gone hunting, couldn’t hit anything if I tried. So obviously I am prejudiced but I still wonder how a people claiming to be non-resistant can own so many guns. It just seems inconsistent. I realize that guns may be needed for pest control on the farm but still….

      1. It’s an interesting question. I have never heard of an Amish person using a firearm in self-defense, but perhaps it has happened.

    3. Andrea Woodard

      People need to be more careful. Innocent people can be hurt or killed by someone else’s carelessness. If you are going to shoot to empty the gun, shoot into the ground, at least there is less chance of the bullet hitting someone.

    4. Samantha

      stray bullet

      I live in SE Indiana and was checking my mail one day. As I bent down to open the box, a bullet whizzed just over my head. I called the sheriff and it turns out that a kid had got a new hunting gun. He was practicing shooting into a hillside just down the road from my house. It’s a good thing I am tall so had to bend down to open the mailbox!

      1. Yikes. I’m not really anti-gun, but I just don’t get the overly casual approach to firearms some people seem to have. Obviously it translates down to the kids as well. Hope you had a long talk with the neighbor, or considered a new address(?). Anyway glad you had something, or someone, on your side that day Samantha.

    5. Stefano Bacc.

      what to say?

      It is incredible for me understand how it is possible to have people who shoot bullets here and there and I don’t know why!!! I know in America is legal to have a fire gun and I can say that for this I am happy to live in Italy where this is illegal (unless the person took the license) , but is nonsense to shoot a bullet! And more is nonsense shoot to an Amish; people can misunderstood Amish lifestyle, can don’t appreciate their way to live, can also hate some of them but reach to the point to use a fire gun is absurd!!
      I hope the boy is ok now and at the same time I hope the person who did it ask for pardon.

      God bless all of you.

    6. Downunder-Anonymous-Club

      Amish should or may use Cell Phones for Post 09-11 only!

      So Eric!

      Please explain my point!

      What does it take to convince the Amish to Initiative plan having a cell phone for 09-11 Emergencies only!

      Furtruemore! How does the Amish know that;
      their Neighbors can be 100% depend on?
      Charging their Cell phones is trickie!

      Yes! It Commin sense that Not everyone had a Cell Phone; but more Low & Limited Income have more Cell Phines vs the Amish Combine! Okay! Nothing is saying to change the Amish Dated Custom! I’m simply saying for Initiative use for Emergencies only! Please Explain!
      You’ve been on the sight long enough to updated TY!

      1. I don’t have the answer to your question(s), Anonymous.

    7. Linda

      Possible answer for stray bullet

      (Man tells Wayne Co. deputies his bullet may have been the one that hit Amish boy in the head)

      “The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department believes they have identified the man who accidentally struck an Amish boy in the head with a bullet who was plowing a field.
      The 34-year-old told police he was shooting pigeons at the time of the incident. The man fired one shot into a group of pigeons and then fired a second shot when the pigeons flew up into the air.”

      Tests are being conducted to see if the gun and the bullet match. It’s good that the teen was wearing a hat!