Skip to main content

Two Lubbock residents said Tuesday that Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight or a hunting companion hit them with birdshot in separate incidents last month.

Neither person was injured or required medical treatment.

Mary Ann Chumley said she was struck on the foot by a stray pellet on Oct. 20 in an incident she characterized as an accident. She said Knight apologized for hunting too close to her barn and she forgave him.

Another resident near the dove field said the coach and another hunter returned the next day and one of them intentionally fired a shotgun in his direction.

James Simpson told Lubbock police he was struck on the neck and back by pellets after yelling at Knight and another man he believed were hunting too close to his house. Simpson’s backyard is about 100 yards from where Chumley was struck the previous day.

Simpson and Chumley each said the shots were fired from a distance of about 250 feet. Both said the pellets did not break the skin.

During an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Knight described allegations that shots were intentionally fired at Simpson as “ridiculous.”

“That’s all been taken care of, that’s over with,” Knight said. “You haven’t heard anything from that guy for two weeks. That’s done. I got no comment on that whatsoever because that’s absolute [expletive.]”

Lubbock police said they do not plan to seek charges against the coach. They declined to release two supplemental police reports stemming from Simpson’s incident pending a review by the city attorney.

Chumley said she was sitting on the tailgate of a pickup near her horse barn when she and one of her horses were struck by pellets from Knight’s shotgun.

“He said, ‘I was shooting a bird and I followed it, and I shouldn’t have done that, and I know that,'” Chumley said, recalling her conversation with Knight after the Oct. 20 incident. “He apologized and I accepted his apology. As far as I was concerned it was over.”

But Simpson claims Knight and another hunter returned to the field the next day, and their shotgun pellets landed in his backyard on three occasions.

Simpson, 51, said each time he went and yelled to the two men to stop shooting so close to his house.

Simpson said he believed the pellets were strays, but was uncomfortable they were hunting near his home. After confronting them again, he said he was struck on the neck and back by pellets as he stood with his back to the field while cleaned his swimming pool.

“He did it intentionally,” Simpson said of the pellets that hit him.

It is not the first time Knight has allegedly been involved in a hunting incident.

In October 1999, Knight accidentally shot a friend in the shoulder and back with 16 pellets while grouse hunting with three other men in Wisconsin.

The man, Thomas Mikunda, was not seriously injured but required medical treatment.

Knight told investigators his finger slipped off the safety of his 20-gauge shotgun as he aimed at a bird, causing the gun to accidentally discharge.

Knight was cited for failing to report the accident and for hunting without a license. He pleaded no contest to each count and paid $582.10 in fines.

In 2001, Mikunda and Knight reached a settlement after Mikunda accused Knight of coercing him into backing his version of the accident to avoid problems while coach at Indiana. Details of the agreement were not released.