Teen faces charges after inadvertently firing shotgun, nearly hitting neighbor

Posted at 6:14 PM, Nov 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-05 20:14:25-05

HURRICANE, Utah – A 14-year-old boy faces reckless endangerment charges after accidentally firing a shotgun and narrowly missing his neighbor.

Police say the boy and a friends were looking at the family owned gun Wednesday inside the boy’s house. They thought the chamber was empty, but when they pulled the trigger, it fired.

“That caused the slug to eject through the gun,” said Hurricane Police Sergeant Brandon Buell. “It went through the exterior of that house, then into the other house, then into an interior wall in the other house.”

The boy’s neighbor was sitting in the room when the slug came through. She did not want to be identified, but she told FOX 13 News it came within six inches of where she was sitting.

“All of the sudden this big explosion, and I’ve got all of this debris falling on me,” the neighbor said. “It was very scary.”

The slug left a gaping hole in the wall, and it exited the home through a window on the opposite wall. The neighbor said the slug lodged in the exterior wall of their garage.

“I didn’t know what to do,” said the neighbor. “I just knew I had to call the cops even though I didn’t want to, because I love that kid.”

Police say they believe it was an accident, but they said it serves as a reminder of how dangerous firearms can be, and the importance of ensuring weapons are unloaded and kept in a safe place.

“If we don’t want our kids to be afraid of them, we want them to understand how dangerous they actually are, and what they can do, there’s programs out there that can help teach gun safety,” Buell said.

The boy faces possible charges of discharging a firearm within city limits and reckless endangerment.