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Boy Substituting On Route Injured By Shotgun Blast

June 23, 1987

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Hundreds of well-wishers stopped by a hospital to visit a 17-year-old newspaper carrier who was critically injured by a shotgun blast while trying to earn money for a symphony trip.

Keith Edward Hurn remained in critical but stable condition in St. Francis Hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit as police sought clues to his assailant.

″My wife and I counted up about 250 people who filed in,″ Keith’s father, John Hurn, said Monday. ″It was standing-room only all day yesterday.″

Only Keith’s parents and grandparents are allowed to see him, Hurn said, but ″it’s just phenomenal the support we’ve had.″

Hurn said he is convinced his son will fully recover from his head wound.

″He’s just doing great - he’s off all life support,″ Hurn said. ″We couldn’t be more pleased with the way he’s progressing.″

The younger Hurn, a member of the Youth Symphony Orchestra and an honor student, was shot Sunday while he and his father delivering papers to help earn money for a trip to London with the symphony group.

Jack Hallman, circulation director for Newspaper Printing Corp., agent for the Tulsa World, said Saturday was to have been the last day Hurn substituted for another carrier on the route. But he worked Sunday because the regular route carrier had not returned from vacation.

″We got our papers folded about 3:20 a.m.,″ the elder Hurn said. ″We were about one-third of the way through our route when I was getting ready to throw a paper.

″I heard two shots, and one shot hit the car.

″I saw my son slump over to the side, then he popped back up again. He said ‘Dad, what’s happening?’

″I knew right away somebody was firing at us,″ he said. ″I just took off for the hospital. Then he said, ’Dad, I’m bleeding.‴

Hurn said he did not know how serious the wound was until his son collapsed onto a stretcher at the hospital. He said buckshot struck the boy near his left eye and penetrated to his brain.

Tulsa Police Lt. Randy Orndorff said authorities are investigating it as an intentional shooting.

The father said that when his son awoke after surgery, ″tThe first thing he asked was, ‘Dad, did I get the papers thrown?’

″He was really that dedicated to finishing his job. He is like that in everything he does.″

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