I cant help but wonder if that was mis reported. Military firing squads consist of 5 people & 4 of them have blanks.
All soldiers are trained to hit a 1 inch red box that is placed over the convicted's heart every time.
The notion is that noone will know whom will be the lucky one to fire the shot.
While I have never had the honor to serve on a firing squad they take their people from infantry battalions which I did have the honor of serving in so the "process" is often discussed.
I would think civilian firing squads would have the same basic construct.
An execution party was composed of eight men and at least five had live ammo!
Here is an excerpt from the US Army execution procedure manual from 1947.
EXECUTION BY MUSKETRY
13. Officer Charged with Execution
The officer charged with the execution will command the escort
and make the necessary arrangements for the conduct of the exe-
cution. He will-
a. Instruct and rehearse the escort and the execution party in
their duties, insuring that all members of the execution party are qualified in the weapon to be used.
Arrange for the receipt of the prisoner by the prisoner guard.
Arrange for an execution party of eight men and one sergeant.
Arrange for a chaplain to accompany the prisoner.
Arrange for the presence of a medical officer at the scene of the execution.
Cause a post with proper rings placed therein for securing the prisoner in an upright position .to be erected at the place of execution.
Cause eight rifles to be loaded in his presence. Not more than three nor less than one will be loaded with blank ammunition. He will place the rifles at random in the rack provided for that purpose.
Provide a black hood to cover the head of the prisoner.
Provide a 4-inch round target, white or black as appropriate ; ablack target will be used when light colored clothing is worn.
Cause the prisoner's arms to be secured either behind his back or in front at the waist (fig. I),before or immediately after his receipt by the prisoner guard.
Arrange for an ambulance or other conveyance with sufficient personnel to be in attendance upon the execution to receive and care for the body. In the event a contract undertaker is used by the quartermaster, his services may be substituted. See AR
1. Provide straps to secure the prisoner to the post at waist and ankles. (See par. 29b.)..."