Teen charged in accidental shooting; Who's to blame when guns land in kids' hands?
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED May. 16, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The lives of two teen boys are forever changed, after horseplay almost turned deadly Wednesday in Rita Ranch.
Police say one shot the other in the face, with a gun they got from a relative.
9OYS wanted to know, who's responsible when a weapon lands in kids' hands?
Police say, they can't say it enough: kids and guns don't mix.
"It appears at this time it was an accidental shooting," said TPD Sergeant Chris Widmer.
It was an 'accident' that put a school on lockdown.
"Everybody was like panicking," said one Desert Sky Middle School student.
It was an 'accident' that sent a neighborhood into a tailspin.
"We never had anything like this before," said one woman.
Rita Ranch is back to normal, but as for the two 16-year-old boys: one is still in the hospital, with doctors operating on his face.
The other could land behind bars.
"That juvenile was charged with a minor in possession of a firearm," said Widmer.
That's a class 6 felony.
And police say those two boys aren't the only one dealing with the consequences.
"One of them got the weapon from a relative's home," said Sgt. Widmer.
Police aren't saying which boy got the gun, or from whom.
They do say, that 'relative' isn't to blame.
But legal experts say, that doesn't always happen.
"It depends on whether the adult was reckless in giving access to the gun to the child," said Tucson attorney Mike Picaretta.
Picaretta says, if an adult leaves a firearm out. where a child can see it, grab it, and the worst happens, that adult could face criminal charges.
"Be darn sure than minors, or people with mental health problems or people with criminal issues do not have access to that gun," he said.
It's a mindset he says will prevent future 'accidents' from ruining young lives.
This is the latest in a string nationwide, where much younger children got their hands on guns.
Those include a 5-year-old Kentucky boy, who accidentally killed his 2 year-old sister with a rifle.