Police on Tuesday gave new details about an accidental pellet gun shooting that critically injured a 17-year-old on Monday.
The teen, struck just above her right eye by a pellet that penetrated her skull and entered her brain, had surgery Tuesday, police Lt. Ken Landwehr said.
“But she is doing fine, as well as can be expected,” he said. She’s been able to communicate and never lost consciousness after the shooting, he said.
Her 19-year-old brother, who accidentally fired the pellet rifle while trying to show it to her, has not been arrested. Police will present their investigation to prosecutors, who will decide whether any charges will be filed. In an accidental shooting, a key consideration is recklessness, Landwehr said.
He gave this account of the shooting, which was reported around 5:30 p.m. Monday at a residence in a mobile home park in the 2600 block of South West Street:
The 17-year-old was on a bed using an iPod when her brother removed the pellet rifle from a soft case. She wasn’t paying attention as he was trying to show it to her. He apparently didn’t know the spring-loaded rifle was cocked, and it discharged, four to five feet from her.
The gun belonged to the 19-year-old’s father. The 19-year-old called 911 and immediately tried to help his sister.
“Those are very dangerous weapons,” Landwehr said. He identified it as a Crosman pellet rifle that can penetrate quarter-inch-thick plywood from 10 yards away.
About four years ago, police investigated a homicide in which a person was fatally shot by a pellet gun, Landwehr said.