Identity of accidental shooting victim released

By Robin Fornoff

Projects Editor

rfornoff@cnjonlne.com

A Cannon Air Force Base airman wounded in what investigators are calling an accidental shooting was identified Thursday as 22-year-old Joshua Halford, according to Curry County Undersheriff Wesley Waller.

Confusion about where the shooting happened set off a 30-minute lockdown Wednesday at Cannon.

Waller said Halford was hit in the hand and his side by a single shot fired from a 9mm semiautomatic pistol held by Aric Miller, 23, also a Cannon airman. The two had just finished target practicing on private land south of Clovis, according to Waller.

Waller said all indications are the shooting was accidental. He said Miller apparently believed the pistol was empty and it discharged while he was manipulating it, striking Halford.

Halford was recuperating in a Lubbock hospital but Waller said he didn’t know the airman’s condition. He also said while investigators had identified owners of the land, they have not yet determined if the airmen had permission to be target practicing on the property.

Waller said the sheriff’s office learned of the shooting when one of the men called by cell phone to say an airman had been shot and they were in a vehicle en route to Plains Regional Medical Center. Sheriff’s deputies met the vehicle on west Seventh Street and assisted in escorting the airman to PRMC.

Halford was later taken to Lubbock by helicopter from PRMC.

Waller said investigators aren’t sure yet how the mix-up happened on the location of the shooting that prompted a lockdown at Cannon. He said the sheriff’s office notified Cannon an airman had been shot, deputies were assisting and were investigating.

Cannon’s public affairs office said in a press release the lockdown was lifted after the base received clarification the shooting didn’t take place on-base.

A news release issued Thursday by Cannon said the incident happened about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and that the victim was in stable condition at Lubbock’s University Medical Center.

Cannon provided no additional information.