A 71-year-old Iowa City, Iowa man was fined $855 for shooting and wounding a US Marine with an air rifle in October 2021.
In April, Philip Olson, who claimed he was hunting a squirrel, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor after turning himself in to police, violating a local ordinance that prohibits the firing of toy guns and slingshots, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
Accidentally shot 20-year-old Lance Cpl. He hit Heefner in the head as the Marine passed by, leaving him critically injured.
Heefner was in town on leave to see his grandparents and friends when he decided to go out to dinner with Panda Express. He was scheduled for his first deployment to Okinawa, Japan, a week after the incident, the outlet reported.
Ammunition from Olson’s BB gun struck Heefner, who was driving on the 6 Freeway. He crashed his car into the median, where police found him. The errant pellet hit Heefner in the temple, leaving him in critical condition. Doctors had to remove a part of his skull.
“It’s a tragedy that he joined the Marine Corps to serve his country and instead of being in a foreign country and getting shot, he comes to his hometown and gets shot by a stray bullet,” his father said. to the local KCRG.
Olson apologized to Heefner’s family during the trial, saying he had “wasted my life and the life of an innocent young man.”
Heefner’s father, according to The Associated Press, said the Marine is experiencing memory loss, is unable to walk unassisted and can no longer use his left arm.
Observation Post is Military Times’ one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories can reflect the author’s observations.
Sarah Sicard is a senior editor at Military Times. She previously served as Digital Editor for Military Times and Editor for Army Times. Her other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.