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March 10, 2013

Child brought to hospital with head wound from air rifle

Wichita police are investigating Sunday the accidental shooting of a 4-year-old boy.

Wichita police are investigating Sunday the accidental shooting of a 4-year-old boy.

At 5:22 p.m. Sunday, 911 received a call saying a mother was taking her 4-year-old boy to Via Christi Hospital on Harry saying he had been shot in the head.

The boy was in critical condition and unconscious when he arrived at the hospital, said Sgt. Bart Brunscheen, spokesman for the Wichita Police Department. The boy was later transferred by EMS to Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis.

The mother told police he had been accidentally shot while someone in the house was cleaning a gun.

The boy was shot in the left side of the head above the eyebrow with a .177-caliber air rifle, Brunscheen said.

A male in his 20s was reported to be one who fired the air rifle, Brunscheen said. The man was taken to the sixth floor of City Hall to be interviewed by detectives. The mother and several small children who witnessed the shooting were also taken to City Hall.

The shooting happened in the 2300 block of East Winchester, near Hydraulic and 63rd Street South.

“When officers arrived at the Winchester address, they secured the house,” Brunscheen said. “It appears the shooting occurred in the kitchen,” he said.

The pellet penetrated the boy’s skull and entered the brain, Brunscheen said.

“It is a small projectile,” he said. “We don’t know how bad it is going to be at this point and time. There is a tendency to think they are not dangerous. But air rifles can be extremely dangerous.

“They can fire at a very high velocity and have the capability to injure or kill. They should be treated like any other weapon.”

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