Paralyzed veteran bullseyes 1,000 yard target

Northeast Alabama

John Rice sights in his custom rifle at 800 yards on Saturday at King B Farm.

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ARDMORE, Tenn. –  John Rice was paralyzed in a car accident 14 years ago. In ten years, he’s gained back some movement, and he’s finally able to shoot his rifle again.

And with some help, Rice has a world record in his sights.

It’s an early wake up call and a drive over the Tennessee border for John Rice. Rice, who’s a quadriplegic, needs a little help getting into position.

“Conditions are perfect this morning,” said Bill Smith, who has been helping Rice shoot for the last year.

Rice was up before dawn, hoping for no wind as the sun came up. “I’m relaxed. I’m good,” Rice said. “To do something like this, to even attempt 1,000 yards is just a blessing.”

Rice has some movement, but not much feeling. Once he was warmed up, he had an audience of friends and family, eagerly waiting for him to pull the trigger.

“He wanted to do so well, because we hadn’t seen it done,” John’s wife Becky said.

He can’t pick up the rifle, but Rice, who’s a former U.S. Marine, has had help getting back into hobby of shooting.

“Without Keith Bennett and King B Farms, I couldn’t have pulled this off,” Rice said.

After five shots at 1,000 yards, Rice finished with a 14-inch group.

“He did good. I’m so proud of him,” Becky said.

“It’s just an honor to be able to do something like this,” Rice said.

Rice is hoping his shooting is good enough for a world record by a quadriplegic. But even if it’s not recognized, Rice says he’s grateful to spend a cool summer morning surrounded by people he loves.

Rice says he’s sending his results to Guinness to be considered for a world record. In the mean time, he says his next target is 1,250 yards and then a mile.

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