ST. GEORGE — Two children were transported to the hospital with gunshot wounds late Saturday evening after police say a firearm was accidentally discharged in a home.
Hurricane City Public Information Officer Ken Thompson told St. George News that officers responded to a call Saturday at around 11:23 p.m. after a woman thought someone was trying to break into her house.
“A mother in the home, for some reason, thought someone was trying to get into the home,” Thompson said, “and so she grabbed a handgun and set it on the kitchen counter. And then when she did that, it went off and hit two children.”
Both of the children, a boy and a girl, were reported as being under 13 years of age.
Hurricane Police Department and Hurricane Valley Fire and Ambulance responded to the call. Both children were transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center with injuries that were not life threatening.
Thompson said the incident is still under investigation but that it “wasn’t an instance of kids playing with guns.”
“It was an accidental discharge,” he said. “I don’t know what caused the firearm to go off, if it was a handling issue or a mechanical issue with the firearm. I don’t know. That’s still under investigation at this point.”
In the 17 years Thompson has been in law enforcement, he said he has never responded to a call about a child being accidentally shot.
“This is the first one,” he said. “I’m sure it happens nationwide occasionally, but here in Hurricane, rarely. Very rarely.”
Thompson reminded people to keep all firearms locked up and away from kids. He encouraged parents also to educate kids that if they find a firearm, not to touch it and tell an adult.
According to national statistics provided by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, approximately eight children and teens are shot unintentionally by “family fire” every day.
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