Eric Woods Shooting Range Bullet Ricochet Accident Drawing and Recommendations Received

Here is the guts of the diagram drawn of the incident by Dep. A. Thomas. (Click to enlarge.)

McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy A. Thomas is credited with this drawing of a recreation of the accident that took Deputy Eric Woods to the hospital twice as a result of a March 15th SWAT Team practice accident.

Whole diagram.

Above is the entire diagram.  Again, click to enlarge.

Thomas has placed the eight members of the “stack” from left to right like this:

Manus, Woods, Hart (with Ellis behind him outside the entrance), Embry and McKenzie were inside the room.  That accounts for six of the eight.  Sgt. Pyle said he was outside the enclosure, so that brings the count to seven.  I cannot identify the eighth member of the SWAT Team.

Over on the far right nearest McKenzie the following officers observed the exercise:

  • Morrow
  • Christensen
  • Knezevic
  • Carlson

Although there is no label to this photo supplied by the Sheriff's Department, it appears to attempting to show where Deputy Eric Woods was standing when he was hit by ricocheting bullet fragments. Note that paper targets are on their holders in the background, but no drawing of a dog appears on the smaller one in front.

Thomas places Woods slightly in front and to the left of the small target. Hart is seen shooting at that small target.

A memo from Lt. Cedergren was also received on March 31st. The original is above and it reads as follows:


On 3/15/10 SWAT was conducting live fire training at the Hartland training facility under the direction of chief range officer Dep. Morrow. At 1520 hrs. I was notified by Dep. Morrow that Dep. Eric Woods had been injured and Woodstock RD rescue was enroute. I responded to the scene. Dep. Woods was being placed in the ambulance. I spoke with everyone who was at the scene. Dep. Croner photographed the scene. Dep. Groves diagrammed the scene using Total Station.


In the morning SWAT received classroom training on dynamic room entry. In the afternoon they conducted dry fire walk throughs on the range using the walls and doorway place by the range staff. After approximately 40 minutes of dry range exercises team member loaded their weapons. The range staff placed a mixture of decision targets on paper and metal targets. One of the targets had a vicious dog target on a steel plate. The two 8 person stacks did live room entry drills. After two times each the range staff re-arranged the targets. The dog target was moved to the other side of the “room” and closer.

Dep. Woods entered the room and did not engage the dog target, and took a position near the dog target. From there he engaged another target. Dep. Hart came in the room and engaged the dog target. The splatter from the frangible round struck Dep. Woods, injuring him.


The training being conducted was legitimate training. Similar training is conducted at almost every SWAT shoot we conduct. The difference this time was the dog target and its forward location. By incorporating the remediation’s listed on page two this training can be safely continued.

Page Two

Contributing Factors:

  • Target was placed too far forward.
  • Dep. Woods took an unintended position, by-passing a lethal target and standing next to it.
  • Dep. Hart engaged another target with a team member standing by it.
  • It happened too quickly for the range officers to recognize the problem and call cease fire.
  • The range officers did not have a clear view of the room.
  • Range officers and SWAT members did not fully understand the effects of frangible ammunition on reactive targets.

Remediation Recommended:

  • Provide information and training on frangible ammunition.
  • Purchase 2 platforms at the sides of the set for 2 range officers to stand on.
  • Signal to stop will be a whistle. The range officers on the platforms will have the whistles in their mouths.
  • Determine minimum lateral safety distance from target and incorporate it.
  • Create more reactive space by moving targets further back from point of entry.
  • Paint a failsafe line on the ground and not allow any participant beyond that line.  show the line to the participants before the start of live fire.

= = = = =

For part of yesterday the first 911 call link was not up.  It is now.  The article is here.


Eric Woods Shooting Range Bullet Ricochet Accident Drawing and Recommendations Received — 3 Comments

  1. Woods is way too far up. He should be next to Hart. Did they do a practice run??If they did they did a rotten job. Mannis and Wood should be in line with the other guys. This is ALL WRONG. Hazing would put Woods in the line of fire!!!
    He must have been way up on the other side of the dog when they entered.

  2. With they way the injuries are described, Woods would have been in the center of the room to the RIGHT OF THE DOG. Not the left. Something is fixed about this report.

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