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A Tucson toddler accidently shoots his father on a shooting range

A Tucson toddler accidently shoots his father on a shooting range

By Valerie Cavazos. CREATED Aug 13, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- A father is recovering tonight after his 3-year-old son accidentally shoots him on a target range in Green Valley.  The Tucson father is okay, but now the Pima County Sheriff's department is investigating.
   
The 36-year-old man told a deputy that he left an unloaded 22 caliber bolt action rifle on the tailgate of his pickup.

He told deputies that bullets were near the rifle and his son managed to put a bullet in the chamber. The father was down range. His son fired the rifle and a bullet hit him in the butt.

Green Valley resident and former state trooper, Sam Barnard, has investigated all kinds of accidental shootings, but this is a new one. "A 3 year old. I don't think I've ever investigated a case where a three year old has ever done the shooting," he said.

Bernard says he thinks that age -- 3 years old--  is too young to take target shooting. "They like to emulate their parents. Their parents shooting their gun and they can grab a gun and they want to shoot too."

The father drove his car to the Canoa Ranch Drive exit and called 9-1-1. He met up with paramedics, who took him to a Tucson Hospital. Battalion Chief Joey Kosiorowski said, "He is extremely lucky that this could have definitely taken a much more severe route and potentially could have been life threatening if things had just gone a little bit differently for him."

Not only for him, but also his 3-year-old son.

The Sheriff's Department is not releasing the name of the father while it investigates the case.