Man Shot Woman's Mohawk, Mistook it for a Bird

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 02, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Derrill Rockwell shot a mohawk.

No, really. He did. On one fateful day last October, he grabbed his rifle after seeing a red bird that had been harassing his cats. The bird was about 90 feet away, but he happens to be a good shot.

His eyesight, however, may still need some work. Soon after, he heard moans of pain. Once atop the hill, he realized that he did not shoot a bird, but a woman's red mohawk.

Rockwell has pleaded guilty to felony possession of a weapon by a prior offender, according to Fox News. A Colorado judge sentenced him to five years of probation. The sentence is much lighter than one would expect.

But this is probably because prosecutors dropped the other charges in exchange for his plea. He was originally charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and false reporting, notes the Daily Sentinel. If he had not pleaded guilty, he probably would have ended up behind bars.

The same may have been true if he hadn't confessed. Derrill Rockwell lied about having shot a mohawk, reports the paper. He brought the woman, who had a gunshot wound to the head, to a local hospital. Later that day he tossed his rifle in the Colorado River.

He originally told police that he had found her passed out and bleeding. When his conscience caught up with him, he turned himself in and confessed.

As funny and bizarre as this story may be, Derrill Rockwell's mistake still serves as a cautionary tale. It's not wise to shoot a mohawk -- there will inevitably be a head just beneath.

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