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Boy accidentally shoots self, father arrested

Bartolo Castillo Mondragon

An 8-year-old boy accidently shot himself through the hand with a handgun belonging to his father, said a press release from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the release, on March 15, deputies became aware of the incident while the victim was being treated at Vidant Beaufort Hospital Emergency Department. Further investigation revealed that the child found the gun in his home and was playing with it when it accidently discharged,

“The child was playing with the handgun in the living room. His mother was attending other household duties,” said Maj. Kenneth Watson, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. “The mother and some other siblings were in the house, but the father was not present.”

Though the injuries were not life threatening, the bullet went through the boy’s hand and lodged in his leg.

Bartolo Castillo Mondragon, 40, of Ricks Street in Washington, was charged with failure to store a firearm to protect a minor. Mondragon was arrested on April 24.

The statement from the Sheriff’s Office reads, “Gun owners are encouraged to secure all firearms in a manner that prevents them from being accessible by a minor. Children are curious by nature, and a loaded firearm stored in a careless manner can quickly lead to the death of a child or others nearby.”