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Lawsuit filed after Georgetown teen shot at ranch party

A Georgetown family filed a lawsuit Thursday after they say their son was intentionally shot at a party on a ranch in Burnet County. (Courtesy: Melissa Bradley)

A Georgetown family filed a lawsuit Thursday after they say their son was intentionally shot at a party on a ranch in Burnet County. The suit alleges there was an attempt to cover up what really happened to their son last October.

Melissa Bradley says when her son called her, she thought he was on his way home. "He said, ‘Mom I’ve been shot.'"

Bradley’s son’s was with six other boys at a private ranch that spans between Burnet and Lampasas counties for the weekend. The ranch is owned by Bryan Farney, an attorney based out of Georgetown. Bradley said she knew there would be hunting at the party hosted by Farney, but she didn’t know to what extent.

“I did not now there would be open firearms given to seven minors,” she said.

The lawsuit states a group of 14-year-old boys were provided weapons and ammo to hunt throughout the farm. On Saturday, October 8th one of the boys shot an exotic animal (a kudu--an antelope native to Africa) thinking it was a deer.

According to the suit one of the boys sought to punish those involved for shooting the animal. Bradley’s son was tied to a chair at one point then told to run around the ranch naked. When he refused, Bradley said her son was intentionally shot with a .22 gauge rifle at close range. The bullet went through his arm and lodged into his chest.

Bradly said her son was driven to Killeen by Farney then airlifted to Scott & White hospital in Temple.

Now six months later, Bradley said her son is still recovering.

“He has no feeling from the top of his two fingers back. There’s no feeling on the top of his hand. (Doctors) said they’re not sure if that will ever return,” Bradley said, “When he hyper extends his right arm a shock will rundown from where the bullets entered through the forearm into the tip of the finger.”

According to the lawsuit, Bryan Farney was part of an attempt to cover up the shooting by saying the gun just “went off.” Also, that Farney stuck with the story, despite some of the other boys admitting that it was made up.

Farney has offered to pay the Bradley’s medical bills according to Mark Dietz, his attorney.

Dietz said in a statement:

"We regret that the young man was injured in what these friends and school mates agreed was an unfortunate accident at the outset. However, many of the allegations in this lawsuit are not supported by the facts and sensationalize the circumstances.
We’re pleased that the young man quickly and fully recovered, and less than three weeks following the accident made the school’s highly competitive basketball team and played throughout the season. More recently he tried out for and made the baseball team. We are fully prepared to fairly and reasonably compensate him for the injuries and related expenses resulting from this accident.”

The Burnet County District Attorney told CBS Austin News he is aware of the incident, but law enforcement and the county attorney would not comment because it involves minors. Bryan Farney has not been charged with any crime.

But Bradley says she's had to move her son to another district because of the shooting and subsequent bullying. “I’m tired of being bullied because they think they have power,” said Bradley.

The family is asking for $1 million in damages in the suit.

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