An 8-year-old Louisiana accidentally shot himself in the throat and was not taken to the hospital until two days later.
According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the boy was taken to Ochsner Medical Center because he had been complaining about head and neck pain. Investigators said that when doctors X-rayed the boy, they found a bullet in his throat.
Authorities said the boy initially told doctors he mistakenly swallowed the bullet because he thought it was candy.
“After talking to medical staff, it was determined that it was a gunshot wound to the child’s mouth,” Jefferson Parish Sgt. Larry Deyss said
Deyss said doctors found a single non life-threatening, small-caliber gunshot wound. Police said the boy admitted to putting the weapon in his mouth and accidentally firing it.
The boy was in stable condition on Friday, and doctors said he could be released soon. Deputies arrested 19-year-old Dominique Hines on Tuesday and charged him with cruelty to a juvenile for leaving the gun in a clothes hamper.
“His negligence lead to the child being injured,” Deyss said.
Crime and safety expert Howard Robertson said that with weapons comes great responsibility, especially when there are children in the home.
“If you have a child in the house, either have a safety lock, or if you have an automatic, try not having a live round in the chamber,” Robertson said. He said the situation could’ve been much worse.
“They think it’s a toy,” he said. “They don’t realize that it is a weapon that can kill somebody, and they start playing with it and shoot themselves or another friend and have to live with it for the rest of their life.”
Jefferson Parish deputies would not specify how the 8-year-old and Hines are related. They only said that the boy was visiting from Baton Rouge. The Department of Social Services is also investigating this shooting.
Jefferson Parish deputies also said that after learning of the shooting, Hines and friend 18-year-old Jarius Palmer threw the gun into the Industrial Canal.
Palmer was also taken into custody. Police said a search of Palmer’s home turned up drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana.