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Thread: Charge sought against 12-year-old boy in pellet gun shooting

  1. #1
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    A 7 year old having open heart surgery from a pellet gun. This was in one of the nicer neighborhoods very close to my house.

    http://www.scnow.com/scp/news/local/...hooting/35182/
    FLORENCE — Investigators are seeking a criminal charge against a 12-year-old boy for shooting a 7-year-old Florence boy with a pellet gun Saturday, Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone said.

    The petition to charge the boy with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature was signed Tuesday by a sheriff’s investigator and the state Department of Juvenile Justice, Boone said in a press release. The case now will be turned over to the 12th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which will determine whether the boy will be charged.

    The shooting happened about 5:30 p.m. in the 200 block of Eaton Circle where several children were playing, according to sheriff’s office reports.

    According to the incident report, D.J. Westbrooks was riding his bicycle in front of his home while the 12-year-old boy laid on the ground, took aim and fired.

    D.J., a first-grader at Royall Elementary School in Florence, underwent open heart surgery at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence.

    His father, David Westbrooks, said he may be released from the hospital by Wednesday, though he still has an IV in place. He said D.J. is doing well and was up walking around and eating Tuesday afternoon.

    Westbrooks said he didn’t want to comment about any charge the 12-year-old who shot his son may face. He said the most important thing is that his son is doing well.

    “It was critical, very critical,” Westbrooks said in an interview Monday. “We were thinking just a little pellet wound, no big deal, but once we got to the emergency room at McLeod we realized how serious it was.”

    Many people don’t understand how dangerous BB and pellet guns can be, Dr. James Baumgartner, a neurosurgeon at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, said in a 2005 interview with the university’s online publication, HealthLeader.

    “People don’t realize that pellet guns and BB guns are lethal weapons. They aren’t toys,” he said. “They are weapons, and they should be treated as such.”

    When one child is injured by such weapon used by another child, both children suffer, Baumgartner said.

    “They sometimes feel unbearable guilt, and the child they shot feels anger,” he said. “No one walks away from this. Lives get turned upside down.”

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has warned that the power of some of these guns should not be underestimated and that children with “toy” guns should never be left unsupervised.

    A special study by the CDC, “BB and Pellet Gun-Related Injuries,” showed that between June 1992 and May 1994, more than 47,000 children and teenagers were treated for BB or pellet gunshot wounds in hospital emergency rooms. Most were boys, children between the ages of 10 and 14, and teens between the ages of 15 and 19. Most wounds were unintentional, self-inflicted and in a home, but some were the result of an assault or suicide attempt.

    Westbrooks said he doesn’t want people to lose sight of how serious this incident was. He said it’s a miracle D.J. survived.

    “We just want parents to understand how dangerous a gun such as a pellet gun is for kids and not only kids, but adults as well,” Westbrooks said Monday. “Anyone that gets struck by one, it could take their life just as our son almost lost his.”

  2. #2
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    sounds like a 12 YO whose father had not wasted any time teaching his son proper gun safety but allowed him to have a gun.



  3. #3
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    I live in the Florence area. My son is 9, my daughter is 7. Their best friends are 12.

    This story could have easily been about them save ONE THING! My kids and my neighbors kids have been taught gun safety.

    Not only do all FOUR kids have BB and pellet guns, they also have their own shotguns and rifles! We shoot regularly as a family and my kids have been taught how to properly handle a weapon.

    IMHO; In this day and age it is stupid not to have your children knowledgable about what to do should the encounter a gun.

    The biggest problem I see is:

    1st- Parents NOT understanding guns should never be treated as TOYS- even if they are.My kids have owned nerfs, dart, airsoft pellet and BB/pellet guns. We have used each one as tools to teach them about real guns. Nowthat they shoot "real"guns they are fully aware of how to maintain safety.

    2nd- Total lack of supervision and bonding as a family. The one thing we try to do as parents is bond with our children; find out if they're having any problems with other kids, kids parents or their teachers and caregivers.

    To overcome these parental weaknessestakes time and a great deal of effort on the parents part. More and more parents seem SELF-absorbed! Tragically, this type of attitude will only lead to their kids getting into terrible situations like this.



    As for my family:

    My guns are locked away in a safe when they are not in use. However, I want my kids to know what to do should they ever encounter a gun; anywhere, anytime.

    My son and daughter love shooting their 22 long rifles. They also know the rules about gun safety.

    They like to watch my wife and I shoot our handguns, especiallyat our club range. They have also began to show an interest in competing like my wife and I like to do. I think where going to get a22 caliber handgun for them to compete with after they spend some time in practice and training. They have to be fully aware and knowledgable on all safety issues concerning whatever gun they're going to shoot.

    On a personal note:

    I feel very sorry for both of these families! It's very hard for me to believe any child should be charged in this case. I feel the kid may not of understood the possible ramifications of his actions. If he was intentionally trying to harm or even kill this child, I would definitely look into the family history here!

    I thank GOD! Inever worry about my kids coming upon a gun somewhere; they know what to do! Theyare not afraid of guns; however they have a very healthy respect. My kids and the neighbors kidsHUNT! They understand a BB gun can kill. They understand a bow&arrow can kill. They also understand a knife or a stick with a sharp point can kill.



  4. #4
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    Ifeel very sorry for both of these families! It's very hard for me to believe any child should be charged in this case. I feel the kid may not of understood the possible ramifications of his actions. If he was intentionally trying to harm or even kill this child, I would definitely look into the family history here!
    I don't know any more details than what was in the paper but I am willing to bet that before it is over Ed Robinson will bring the race card into this no matter what they decide to charge or not charge the boy with.

  5. #5
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    It goes to say I asked my dad for a BB gun when I was younger, I got a 22 winchester instead. He told me you can't shoot the neigbors with it. yes today that would be bad parenting wouldn't it.

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