HORSESHOE BAY — Surgeons removed the right lung of a 3-year-old boy after he allegedly accidentally shot himself Sept. 19 at a residence in the 600 block of Rocky Ridge, but authorities expressed concerns about the parents’ behavior following the incident.
According to a news release from Horseshoe Bay Assistant Police Chief Rocky Wardlow, officers responded to a call at 7:16 p.m. in reference to a child accidentally shooting himself. The child was transported to Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin, where he was rushed into surgery.
Physicians removed the youth’s right lung. He remained in critical condition as of Sept. 20.
During the investigation, Horseshoe Bay officers accompanied the parents back to the residence, where police recovered a loaded handgun lying on the kitchen table, according to the release. The parents told officers the child picked up the gun and it went off.
When officers requested permission to search the residence, the parents refused, the release stated.
District Attorney Sonny McAfee and one of his investigators responded to the residence to assist. McAfee assisted officers in securing a search warrant.
During the course of the initial investigation, officers learned the gun found inside the residence wasn’t the one involved in the shooting, according to the release. Investigators received conflicting information regarding the weapon with one account suggesting the father hid the weapon in nearby brush and the other account suggesting the mother hid the gun along with other firearms in a neighbor’s home.
While a search of a nearby wooded area was unsuccessful, investigators located the neighbor and, upon getting permission to search the residence, they located three handguns and a lever-action rifle.
Investigators believe the shooting was accidental, but they do have concerns about why the parents attempted to hide the weapon involved in the incident, according to the release.
The investigation continues with the Texas Rangers and Child Protective Services assisting.
Once the investigation is over, Horseshoe Bay police will forward the information to the district attorney’s office for consultation on what charges could be filed.
“We feel there are a number of possible violations under consideration at this time,” Wardlow’s release stated.