MOORESVILLE, N.C. - An 11-year-old was accidentally shot in the face by his 8-year-old friend in Mooresville.
Sheriff’s deputies said injuries to the boy were minor and that the bullet went in and out of his right cheek with no major injuries.
Deputies said after interviewing parents it was determined the boys were playing cops and robbers in the back yard when the 8-year-old boy had hid in an outbuilding and had found a rifle.
When the 11-year-old opened the door, the 8-year-old fired the rifle hitting the boy in the face.
Lake Norman Regional Medical Center transferred the child to Levine Children's Hospital at Carolina's Medical Center by Iredell County EMS to remove fragments in the wound.
The homeowner Daniel Layne Stewart was charged with failure to secure a firearm to protect a minor and was released on an unsecured bond.
Howard Uribe lived next door. His son was playing with the boys at the time. When he heard the shot, he ran as fast as he could.
"My heart dropped. As a parent, I thank God that everyone is OK and alive in this, but it is a big wakeup call for everyone,” Uribe said.
Coddle Creek Elementary sent home a letter to parents describing the incident and to remind parents about safety.
According to North Carolina state law, anyone who owns a firearm will face a misdemeanor if an unsupervised minor is able to gain access to that weapon without the owner's permission.