Man, child hit with pellet gun; teen arrested

Posted: Tuesday, September 03, 2002

A man and his 4-year-old daughter were shot by a juvenile with a pellet gun Monday afternoon at the Williams Express on the corner of Bridge Access Road and the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai.

Raymond Hensley, 31, of Kenai, was cutting the grass near the tree line south of the store just before 3 p.m. Monday when he said he felt something hit him in the left buttocks.

"It was windy, and I thought a branch hit me," Hensley said.

His daughter, KathLynn Payton, had been watching him from closer to the store and came over to push the lawn mower beside her father, Hensley said. That's when she was hit in the back by the second shot.

"When she said, 'Ow. Daddy!' I knew something was wrong."

Hensley said they looked toward the tree line and saw two young white males. Hensley's brother-in-law, Marshal Payton, called the police.

"There were hiding behind a stump," Hensley said. "I chased them. They split up, so I chased the kid with the gun."

He said he caught the youngster on Sprucewood Road, behind the Alaska Industrial Hardware building, where he said a neighbor held the boy until the authorities arrived.

Hensley, a member of the Nana Corp. of Kotzebue, said he thinks the incident was racially motivated, and he intends to press charges.

"All I wanted was just an apology," he said. "But I might as well do something. If not, they'll think they can get away with it."

Kenai Police Sgt. Scott McBride said officers arrived and were able to locate both juveniles.

One of the two 15-year-olds -- the one who was determined to be the shooter -- was charged with two counts of felony assault.

"The other kid wasn't charged," McBride said. "He didn't participate. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

McBride said information on the youngster who was charged will be forwarded to Juvenile Intake.

Hensley said his daughter had a red welt on her back, but was otherwise fine.

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