The shooting occurred inside the child’s home on Blackwell Dairy Road when a sibling accidentally caused a loaded .22 caliber rifle to fire, according to Jimmie Vann, an investigator with the Jasper Police Department.
Police were called after the child was taken to Walker Baptist Medical Center for treatment. The child was then airlifted to Children’s Hospital and is listed in stable condition.
Vann said Jasper police are investigating the incident.
Jasper Police Chief Danny Patton said the incident should be a warning for parents to never leave guns where children can find them.
“In this case, the gun was loaded and basically propped up by the front door,” he said. “That should never happen. This family is lucky this child is still alive.”
Patton said when children are in a home that all guns should be kept in a locked gun safe.
“We have gun locks available here at the police station that we will give away for free,” he said. “We will even show people how to use them. I would urge any parent to come and get one.”
Vann said many people don’t like to lock up their guns.
“It is much more important to lock up guns, because a child can be hurt or even killed easily,” he said. “Keeping guns locked up in a safe place can save a child’s life, and that is the most important thing.”