EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSBOY SHOT BY SIBLING
from Eyewitness News Online
Boone County Boy Shot By Pellet Gun In Critical Condition
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Aug. 16, 2012 10:07 AM EDT
Updated: Aug. 16, 2012 10:15 PM EDT
Seth , Boone County , West Virginia
A little boy is in critical condition after being shot with a pellet gun in Boone County. It happened Tuesday evening in Seth.
Police say criminal charges could be filed, but not against the person who pulled the trigger.
Police say the 7-year-old was shot in the chest by his sister, who is also a child. Police say it was completely an accident but now they're sending a strong message to other families who may have similar guns, as prosecutors work to determine if anyone's at fault.
"It resembles more of a firearm than anything else," explains Boone County Sheriff Rodney Miller. He says the boy was shot in the chest, sending a tiny pellet completely through his heart.
"With the velocity that the pellet comes out of here, it's much greater that the velocity of a lot of firearms that we see on an everyday basis," explains Miller.
Miller says all signs point to an accident between the two siblings, but the investigation is far from over.
"There's a lot of questions that we're asking, in as much as the same that's coming from the public that we've been asked, 'where were the parents?'" he says. "We have not ruled out the possibility of criminal charges."
Miller says it's essential that children know even pellet guns aren't toys and can be just as dangerous as a firearm. The air gun fires a pellet at 1,200 feet per second, while a handgun only fires about 900 feet per second.
A tragic accident that's sending a strong message to other who may have similar weapons in children's reach.
"It's absolutely uncalled for that this type of incident took place," says the sheriff.
Eyewitness News requested to speak with the boy's parents at the hospital. They declined to comment, but we're told the little boy is showing improvement.
The Boone County boy shot in the chest with a pellet rifle is in critical condition, and the wound apparently was near the boy’s heart, authorities said.
Boone County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Sheriff Chad Barker said the 7-year-old nearly died in the late-night shooting Tuesday, but doctors at Charleston Area Medical Center are hopeful the child will recover, The Associated Press reported.
Neither the victim nor the boy who fired the gun has been identified.
The shooting remains under investigation but is believed to be an accident.
Barker says the incident is a reminder to parents that pellet guns are as dangerous as handguns. He says pellet rifles are now able to shoot pellets from 1,000 to 1,400 feet per second.
A standard handgun fires ammunition at up to 900 feet per second.
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