CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. - A 17-month-old girl is in the hospital and is expected to be OK after she was shot by her 3-year-old brother with their father's gun Thursday morning.
The family was doing renovations inside their Patterson Springs home and the .9mm gun was on a dresser.
Police believe the little boy climbed a dresser with a step-stool in the parents' bedroom, got the gun and shot his sister. The bullet did not hit any bones or major organs.
"All of our prayers have been answered,” said neighbor Cheryl Morris. "It could have really been bad."
Eyewitness News received the 911 call Friday. Channel 9 has chosen not to air the 911 call due to its graphic nature.
The girl’s father was driving during the mother’s conversation with a Cherokee County 911 dispatcher.
The girl’s mother called emergency dispatchers saying the bullet may have grazed the left shoulder blade.
The mother describes that she saw two bullet holes.
THURSDAY: Girl is expected to be OK after accidently being shot
"If the bullet would have went an inch a different way it would have been a totally different outcome,” said Capt. Joel Shores with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department.
The dispatcher told the mother to cover the wounds and apply pressure to it to stop the bleeding.
During the entire call, the 911 dispatcher and the mother both remained calm.
Dispatchers called Cleveland Regional Medical Center to alert them that the family was heading to the hospital in a green Ford Explorer and that emergency personnel would meet them at the front door.
The dispatcher asked the mother if the girl was still bleeding. The mother described that the girl was not bleeding that badly.
The 911 dispatcher offered to call family members to alert them so that the family wouldn’t have to.
The dispatcher stayed on the phone with the girl’s mother until the family reached the hospital.
The father, Justin Carper, has not been charged with any crime as of Friday afternoon.
"There is no rush. We do not believe these parents are in any way a threat to society,” Shores said.