BURNET COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A lawsuit describes a group of ninth graders’ weekend visit to a Texas ranch last year, ending in the shooting of one of the 14-year-olds, as a combination of “Lord of the Flies” and “The Hunger Games.”
Melissa Bradley and Allen David Bradley are suing William Bryan Farney, of Georgetown, and his minor son for damages as a result of alleged negligent conduct. The plaintiffs are seeking more than $1 million.
Farney invited six 14-year-olds to join his son at their “high-dollar” ranch in Burnet and Lampasas counties on Oct. 7, 2016, the lawsuit states.
The Bradleys say that, even though none of the boys had a hunting license, Farney opened up his gun cabinet and let each teen take a weapon and then roam around the ranch “completely unsupervised.”
The lawsuit says the teenagers also had access to alcohol.
Farney’s 14-year-old son pointed a .22 rifle at Bradley’s son, also 14 years old, and shot him at point blank range, court documents claim. The bullet passed through the boy’s right arm and into his chest.
Emergency surgery at Scott & White Hospital in Temple was needed, the family says, leaving the teen with permanent wounds and “the destruction of his childhood.”
The Bradleys say that Farney’s son told the other boys after the shooting to say that the gun was accidentally fired after laying it on an air conditioning vent. The lawsuit, however, claims the Farney’s son pointed the gun at the eventual shooting victim twice that weekend., in addition to “trying to force [the victim] to run around the ranch naked.” The family claims they also tied up Bradley’s son after a confrontation about an exotic animal — a kudu — shot by one of the boys on the ranch.
Court documents show that on the accused shooter’s social media he describes himself as an “extreme hunter” and “trained sniper.”
Melissa Bradley told NBC4’s sister station KXAN she has faced harassment from the Farney family to drop the lawsuit.
“I have had phone calls of threats and even to the point where they have followed my son around town and took pictures of him in public, so it has to stop,” she said.
Bradley’s son is still seeking medical treatment for his injuries, she says, and no longer attends Georgetown High School.
KXAN reached out to the Farney’s attorney for a statement and has not heard back yet.