Hunter shot in the back by his dog


Sonny Gilligan learned the hard way that an old dog actually can learn new tricks — like how to fire a shotgun from the back seat of a pickup truck.

Gilligan, of New Mexico’s Doña Ana County, was shot in the back while sitting in the front seat of his parked pickup truck during a hunting trip for jackrabbits with his three dogs — Charlie, Scooter and Cowboy — west of Las Cruces on Thursday, the El Paso Times reports.

“Charlie got his foot in the trigger of the gun and I leaned forward and he slipped off the seat and caught the trigger — and it shot,” Gilligan told the newspaper. “It was a freak accident but it’s true, that’s what happened.”

The shotgun fired by Charlie, a 120-pound Rottweiler mix — or, presumably, a “Shot-weiler” — blasted through the driver’s seat and entered Gilligan’s back, breaking several ribs and his collarbone. He was lucky to survive the freak accident, he said.

“I was very fortunate I could get to my phone,” Gilligan told the newspaper. “The [Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office] first responders saved my life. If they waited 10 more minutes, I would’ve died. I lost so much blood. I know I actually passed to the other just before getting to the hospital but they were able to revive me through CPR and bring me back.”

Deputies and state police officials found Gilligan, 74, next to his truck after the shooting near County Roads B4 and B5. He was transported via helicopter to a hospital in El Paso, where he underwent several surgeries but is expected to fully recover, the newspaper reports.

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