The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


April 17, 2014

UPDATE: Police say 11-year-old shot in 'accidental discharge of a firearm'

Police: Family is suffering 'unimaginably' as child still in critical condition

FAIRMONT — A boy remains in critical condition after being shot more than a week ago, and police officials are now saying the incident was accidental in nature.

On Wednesday, April 9, at 7:52 p.m., police were dispatched to a Fairmont residence after an 11-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound inside the home. Last week, Fairmont Police Chief Kelley Moran confirmed that another person was involved in the shooting, but officials are not releasing the name of either the boy or the other person involved.

According to new information from Lt. Steve Shine, which was released to media at about 1 p.m. Thursday, the shooting looks as if it was an accident.

"All information gained thus far in the Fairmont Police Department investigation of this shooting indicates that this was an unintentional and accidental discharge of a firearm,” Shine said. “There is no public safety issue. The general population's safety will not be enhanced by the release of further details regarding this case.”

Shine said that the limited release of details, including names, the nature of the shooting and the location of the home, is being done out of respect for the family involved.

"The families affected by this shooting are suffering unimaginably,” Shine said. “The family may be distressed by the release of minor details and personal information as they attempt to care for their child and cope with the losses they are suffering.”

According to the police department, there has been no change in the child’s critical status at Ruby Memorial Hospital, where he was transported via a HealthNet helicopter after the shooting April 9.

According to the Marion County Central Communications 911 log from that night, HealthNet was dispatched at 8:02 p.m., a mere 10 minutes after police responded to the residence. HealthNet landed on the ground at 8:28 p.m. and was in air by 8:57 p.m.

Moran told the Times West Virginian that the Fairmont City Police Department is the lead investigation agency handling the case, and the investigation continues. To date, no charges have been filed in the case.

“Due to the circumstances of this incident, and out of respect for the grieving family, we have intentionally withheld details of this unfortunate accident until our investigation is concluded,” Shine said in the release.

- Email Misty Poe at or follow her on Twitter @MistyPoeTWV.

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