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By Christopher Sherman | December 15, 2011

Dozens of law enforcement officers trudged through soggy brush near a South Texas middle school on Dec. 13 looking for casings and other evidence to help explain how two boys were shot while they were trying out for the school basketball team.

Investigators have questioned three men who were found on adjacent ranchland after the shooting the evening before. Two were practicing target shooting about a half mile from the school. A third was an illegal immigrant with an assault rifle who was trespassing on the property. The target shooters were released, but are still under investigation. The other man remained in custody. Investigators didn’t know if any of them fired the shots.

School officials met with parents and both said they were surprised to learn there was hunting on private property just beyond the school’s perimeter. Superintendent Rene Gutierrez said one property owner had informed officials about hunting on his land, but they hadn’t known there was any in the area where the shots came from.

“We were not aware that there was hunting on the west side of the school or that there were (hunting) leases on the west side until last night,” Gutierrez said.

With no Texas law prohibiting hunting on private land near a school and high-powered rifles that can fire more than a mile, school officials said the most immediate way to protect students might be building a cinder-block wall around two sides of Harwell Middle School to protect it from flying bullets.

(Read the full story from
Posted 3:47 PM

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