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The Associated Press

HULETT, Wyo. (AP) — A tourist shot in the arm near Devils Tower National Monument may have been the victim of a stray bullet, the sheriff said.

Phillip Sexton, 47, of New Castle, Ind., was wounded in the left forearm by a .22-caliber bullet Saturday afternoon, Crook County Sheriff’s Department officials said.

He was shot while checking out the scenery at a concession stand just outside the park’s eastern entrance, officials said. He was taken by ambulance to the Crook County Memorial Hospital, where doctors removed the bullet.

No shooter has yet been identified, Sheriff Steve Stahla said.

Detectives suspect the bullet came from somewhere outside the park, he said. Target shooting and prairie dog shooting are commonplace in the area, he said.

Investigators have not ruled out criminal intent, however, he said.

“We treat anything and everything we get as a crime until we can prove otherwise,” Stahla said.

The bullet was traveling in a downward path, which indicates it may have come from far away, he said. A .22-caliber bullet can travel three to four miles.

The bullet was intact when it lodged in Sexton’s arm, indicating it did not ricochet, he said.

Detectives have been interviewing area business owners, landowners and tourists who may have witnessed the shooting.

“Nobody really heard anything, nobody really saw anything,” Stahla said.

The area was fairly crowded when the shooting occurred, he said.

“We’re just lucky that if it had to hit someone, that’s where it struck him, instead of in the head or something,” he said.

Usually such shooting accidents occur during hunting trips, he said.

“This is the first time we’ve had anything like this,” Stahla said.

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