by: Ken Lemon Updated:
WAXHAW, N.C. - The wife of a Waxhaw police officer was taken to the hospital after the couple’s 2-year-old child accidentally shot her, according to Police Chief Michael Eiss.
Eiss told Channel 9 that the shooting was reported Wednesday night.
He said the gun used was Officer Jeremy Ferguson’s personal gun, not his service weapon.
Eiss said the 2-year-old found the gun in a bag in the laundry room and accidentally fired it. The bullet hit Ferguson's wife, but she is expected to be OK.
The boy's grandmother said the the child had no idea what he was doing when he grabbed his dad's gun and shot his mother.
Nearby resident Dwight Beheler said people in the community cherish Ferguson, and that he's always there to help neighbors.
"He is a good guy to have around," Beheler said.
Beheler also described Ferguson as cautious, and wondered how the boy got his gun.
"As a police officer, I think he should have known it should have been put up under lock and key," Beheler said.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting and will determine whether any charges will be filed.
Eiss said the Waxhaw Police Department will carry out an internal investigation on Ferguson, whom he said was a good officer and has been on the force for a year.
Union County investigators were called to the house after the shooting.
"It only takes a second or two for a child to gain access to a gun, if it is accessible,” Union County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Underwood said. “In this instance is was on the child's level on the floor."
Ferguson has been charged with failing to properly secure a firearm from a minor, which is a misdemeanor.
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