GRANTS, N.M. (KRQE) – A Grants city councilman is dead after what appears to be a shooting accident during target practice.
The Cibola County Sheriff says 64-year-old Eddie Dickens was out shooting off Lobo Canyon Road Thursday afternoon.
They say when he didn’t come home, Dickens’ family went looking for him. They found him with a single gunshot wound to the chest.
“We really feel for his wife Shirley and his boys,” said Jose Rodriguez.
People in Grants are still learning the tragic news the beloved councilor passed away.
“I was flabbergasted, it just about threw me,” said Rodriguez, who’s lived one house down from Dickens for many years.
He said Eddie Dickens would walk past his home everyday with his dog, to the park at the end of the street.
“If somebody was gone from the house and it was garbage collection day or you know he’d go out there and put the garbage cans out for them,” said Rodriguez.
Cibola County Sheriff, Tony Mace, said this is devastating.
“It’s a devastating event for our community. Mr. Dickens was active in the high school, a great teacher the kids talked about him a lot,” said Tony Mace.
He said when his investigators arrived to the scene on Lobo Canyon Road, they found a new box of amo, four bullets missing from the box and three shots in the target, his cleaning kit was also nearby. Mace said they believe the gun malfunctioned.
“Maybe tried to clear that malfunction and somehow the weapon discharged, striking him in the chest,” said Mace.
Deputies say they found Dickens’ gun in pieces. Those who knew Dickens say it’s a tragedy and they’re thinking of his family. He leaves behind a wife, two sons and six grandchildren.
Funeral arraignments have not yet been announced.