Boy Shoots At Truck, Injures Man

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 27, 1995

A 13-year-old boy wanted a video game. So on Christmas Day, his brother said, he grabbed a .22-caliber rifle, aimed at a passing truck he believed to be loaded with games, and pulled the trigger.

Instead of blowing out the truck’s tires and causing it to spill its cargo, the bullet hit and wounded a man driving a pickup.

Ricardo Soto was charged with deadly conduct in juvenile court, punishable by up to 10 years in custody, the county attorney’s office said.

The boy fired three shots at a tractor-trailer rig eastbound on Interstate 10, about 60 miles southeast of El Paso near the U.S.-Mexico border, police said.

His 9-year-old brother, David Soto, told The Associated Press that Ricardo told him he wanted to “shoot a trailer and get Nintendos out of it.”

But Ricardo’s sister, 15-year-old Erika, said she believes the shooting was accidental. “I don’t think he really meant to. He likes to shoot stuff, like practice,” she said.

Authorities say they aren’t certain what motivated Ricardo. The boy himself hasn’t explained to them what happened.

“They’re a real poor family and maybe he thought about Christmas” presents, said Hudspeth County Sheriff Arcadio Ramirez. “I guess he thinks every truck had toys.”

Ramirez said the boy had hidden in the brush by the side of the road about a mile outside of Fort Hancock and opened fire late Monday afternoon.

Alberto Tarango of Van Horn, who was driving in a pickup truck with his wife, was hit once in the back of the head. He was in guarded condition Tuesday at Thomason General Hospital in El Paso. His wife was unhurt.

The rig driving in front of Tarango was struck twice, but no one was injured.

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