The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) is continuing its investigation into a possible homicide in Byars that occurred Sunday afternoon.

“But they are not ruling out an accidental death,” McClain County Sheriff Don Hewett said.

The investigation is into the death of 76-year-old Byars resident Leroy Atkinson. He lived at 47077 110th Street in Byars.

“It appears, at this point, that a 60-year-old neighbor was target practicing from his residence and apparently one of the rounds struck Mr. Atkinson resulting in his death,” the sheriff continued.

Hewett said it is the policy of the OSBI not to release the name of the person involved unless they are charged with a crime.

“Our condolences to Mr. Atkinson’s family,” Hewett continued. “It is a very unfortunate accident.”

Hewett said even though there is no state law about discharging a firearm in the county, it is still the person’s responsibility to know where they are shooting and where that projectile may land.

“We encourage all individuals who practice shooting to know the background and line of sight,” the sheriff said. “And, they need to remember a bullet can travel a long distance.”

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