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Police: Boy with Autism Accidentally Shoots Himself with Grandfather’s Gun

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police lightsSOUTH LAKE TAHOE—

A 10-year-old boy with Autism accidentally shot himself with his grandfather’s gun Thursday, police said.

Around 4 p.m. police officers and medics went to the parking lot of a Staples on Lake Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe after reports of a child shooting himself in the hand while in his grandparents’ custody. The child was rushed to Barton Memorial Hospital.

The boy fired the gun just before his grandmother made it back to the car and shot himself in the hand. Although severely hurt, the gunshot wound is not life-threatening.

The boy’s grandfather is a California law enforcement officer from out of the area, and is lawfully authorized to carry a loaded gun in his car. The child’s grandfather’s gun was in his closed glove box, which did not have a lock. The man was waiting with his grandson in the parking lot while his wife went into Staples.

The boy was sitting in the backseat of the car. The grandfather got out to walk their dog just outside of the parked car. While he was standing behind the car, the child got into the front seat and pulled the gun out of the glove box without his grandfather noticing.

Officers secured the weapon as evidence and are submitting their investigation to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office for review and disposition concerning the possible filing of criminal charges for child endangerment.  To help protect the identity of this special-needs child, neither his name, nor the names of his hrandparents, will be released by SLTPD at this time.

Greg Cotta filed this report.

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