John Ellis, an optometrist from Pittsburgh, PA, was vacationing with his wife and two daughters in Hill City, South Dakota. The family was watching a reenactment of a Wild West shootout when Ellis fell to the ground, clutching his bloodied elbow. "I was shot in the forearm, and it went through the other side of my elbow," Ellis told reporters, "I had surgery around midnight Friday to remove bone and lead fragments."
Two other tourists were shot and injured during the show. Carrol Knutson of Minnesota was shot in the leg and Jose Pruneda of Nebraska suffered a minor flesh wound.
The Sheriff's office has not released details from its investigation, including refusing to speculate on how normally blank cartridges could have caused the injuries. This is not the first time someone has been injured watching the mock gun battle by the Dakota Wild Bunch Reinactors. In 2002, a woman survived after being shot in the head at the show.
"I'd think, 'OK, well some accidents happen', but with this previous incident, that's a little bit more concerning to me," said Ellis. Ellis also expressed concern for his optometry practice. "I'll be splinted for eight weeks, possibly, and that could be eight weeks weeks of no wages," he said.