KAUFMAN COUNTY (CBS 11) — A 5-year-old boy remained in critical condition Sunday night after what investigators are calling an accidental shooting to the back of his head. Since CBS 11 first brought you this story the response from viewers has been overwhelming, sparking strong feelings about gun safety.
The victim came out of surgery Sunday. His family declined to comment about the case. As everyone hopes for the best, there are lots of questions about what led up to the shooting.
In the hours after the shooting, detectives focused much of their attention on the trailer next to the family’s paintball business.
The family says the boys’ mother was inside that business, helping people sign in. Investigators tell us the 5-year-old and his 6-year-old brother were alone in the trailer watching TV when the 5-year-old found a 9mm Glock handgun.
Some CBS 11 viewers, like Nicole Tate, were immediately outraged. On Facebook she wrote, “100% Preventable! Irresponsible gun owner! Why was a loaded 9mm Glock just laying around for a 5-year-old to be able to find?”
But attorney Jerry Loftin says that alone is not necessarily evidence of negligence.
“The only issue I think the parents could be culpable [is] if they, for example, handed the gun, or a loaded gun, and left. If they provided that gun. The fact that they have a gun in a house is not the same as giving a child a gun,” Loftin said.
So far, it isn’t clear how the child got the gun or whose gun it was. For now investigators consider the case an accidental shooting. But Loftin says detectives will look at all possible scenarios, including who was last holding the gun.
“The level of where an entry wound occurred. Gunshot in the head. Gunshot in. Gunshot in. Gunshot head,” Loftin described, pointing to the different possible areas the bullet could have struck. “The residue, looking at the impact zone. In other words you can tell how far a gun is away from somebody by the velocity of the residue that comes out of the barrel.”
So far no charges have been filed in the shooting. The sheriff’s department said investigators plan to meet with the district attorney tomorrow to go over the case.
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