STEPTOE, Wash. -- A Spokane man was upgraded to stable condition Sunday, after he was hit by shrapnel while shooting targets in Whitman County.
A group of people were practicing on Blackwell Road, just south of Steptoe Saturday afternoon.
The Whitman County Sheriff’s Office said they were using Star Targets, which are designed to explode when a bullet hits them. The shooters placed the metal box near the target to see if they could make it explode.
The burst target ended up ripping apart the box and hurling metal through the air.
Flying shrapnel hit 50-year-old Ronald Kiima in the right shoulder. Medstar airlifted Kiima to Sacred Heart. He had been listed in serious condition, but has been upgraded to stable.
The sheriff’s office said the shooters stood less than 50 yards away from the targets, which is too close.
"It recommended on the label 75 yards to be away from, but we actually found some debris that was actually more than 75 yards away from the target itself," said Sgt. Chris Chapman, Whitman County Sheriff's Office.
Chapman added the Sheriff’s Office is getting more calls about people injured from this type of activity. Part of the ongoing concern is placing items, like a metal box, on top of or next to the exploding target, Chapman said.
Star Targets are legal, but the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office urges shooters to use them appropriately.