by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:ANSON COUNTY, N.C. —
The Anson County Sheriff released more information Monday morning about a shooting involving a deputy’s 5-year-old son and that deputy's service weapon.
Officials said the little boy got a hold of the gun and shot himself in the ear.
Sheriff Tommy Allen told Channel 9 that the child is doing fine after being released from Levine Children’s Hospital Sunday and said the boy will likely have to undergo plastic surgery on his ear. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Allen said Sergeant Josh Beam has been placed on administrative leave, adding that it is standard procedure any time a deputy's weapon is fired.
The sheriff's office is conducting it's own internal investigation and a joint investigating is ongoing involving several agencies including Wadesboro Police, SBI and the District Attorney's Office.
When asked about the possibility of charges being filed against Sgt. Beam, Allen referred Channel 9 to the D.A.'s Office.
District Attorney Reece Saunders has declined to comment on the case or any pending charges.
Officials said the deputy and his son were inside their home when the shooting happened in Wadesboro Saturday. The sheriff said the deputy was in another room.
"I don't know if any policies were violated," said Allen. "Our main concern is for the child. The child is doing well. This could have been a real tragedy but it wasn't and we just thank God it turned out as best as it did."
Officers are investigating the incident, trying to determine how the boy got a hold of the officer’s gun.
"He has an unblemished record. He's a good officer, never had any such problems at all with Officer Beam," Allen said, adding he hoped to have the investigations wrapped up by mid week.
When asked how his deputy was holding up after the shooting, Allen said, "He's doing OK under the circumstances. I've talked to him a number of times since Saturday afternoon. He's blaming himself. He's beating himself up. Nothing I could do or anyone else could do could compare to anything he's feeling under the circumstances."
Beam is a 10-year veteran of the department. He also recently ran for sheriff in this month’s primary but was beat out by his opponents.
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