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Boy in critical condition after Arizona target-shooting accident

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A 9-year-old Arizona boy suffered life-threatening injuries when he was hit in the neck by bullet ricochet while target shooting early Wednesday in the desert west of Phoenix, authorities said.

The boy was listed in extremely critical condition at the hospital where he was taken after the apparent accident, Deputy Joaquin Enriquez, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, said.

Two adults and three juveniles, including the boy's sister, were shooting in a desert wash at about 5 a.m. local time when the boy was wounded by a ricocheted round from a handgun, according to initial reports, deputies said.

One of the group called 911 and the victim was driven to his home about two miles from the scene, Enriquez said. From there he was airlifted to Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Enriquez said the group had several handguns and a shotgun with them and that it was not immediately clear who fired the shot that injured the boy.

    He said the victim's parents were home at the time and knew the boy had gone out target shooting.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Leslie Adler)

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