WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It was early Sunday morning, when a father, son and nephew were pheasant hunting in Reno County. Just as the dad shot at a bird, he says his 11-year-old son walked in front of him and was hit.
KSNW-TV sat down with the father at the hospital where his son is recovering.
Jean Alcala says he’s been reliving the event since it happened early that morning, and is so thankful his mistake didn’t take his son’s life.
He wants to share what happened to let others know experience, doesn’t prevent an accident.
“First deer I ever shot was with him, it’s been a thing that I’ve been doing with him every year,” said Jean Alcala, Wichita.
One of the BB’s in the shotgun shell penetrated 11-year-old Gabriel’s skull, and another hit his jaw and fractured the right side.
Jean says he had no cell phone, so he carried him for two miles to his truck to rush Gabriel to a Wichita hospital.
Seeing his outgoing, charismatic son in so much pain was difficult.
“Scared about what they’re going through and telling you daddy I love you and I don’t want to die. Who prepares you for that?” said Alcala.
Jean says he has his hunter’s license and completed the education to get it, but experience didn’t prevent his accident.
He encourages other hunters to always revisit safety and to never get too comfortable in the sport.
“I know guys that are out there will sit and listen to this and they will be like this will never happen, again I’ve been hunting for six years and I never would have thought this would have happened,” said Alcala.
Gabriel is doing better and their family continues to be thankful it wasn’t a different outcome that day.
“I’m thankful that God had angels looking out for him, and I’m thankful that my son is alive,” said Alcala.
Jean says Gabriel had surgery on his jaw, and it will be wired shut for two weeks.
He says his son wants to hunt again, and they will do so once he is able to.