Toddler finds gun in car, shoots grandmother in back

Published: Oct. 12, 2015 at 3:06 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2015 at 8:53 PM EDT
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ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) - A Rock Hill grandmother is recovering after police say a 2-year-old boy found a gun inside a car and shot her in the back.

According to police, officers were called to the 1100-block of Stanley Drive Sunday afternoon around 1:24 p.m.

Officers met with a woman who says she picked up her great-nephew and was driving him around, with his grandmother in the passenger seat.

While she was driving, the young boy found a .357 revolver in the pouch on the back of the passenger seat. He then accidentally shot his 40-year-old grandmother through the passenger seat.

"She's probably lucky that it hit the car seat first because it slowed down the momentum of the bullet," said Rock Hill Police Captain Mark Bollinger.

The family was traveling through the light at Ogden Road and Heckle Boulevard when the woman heard the gun go off.

She looked in the back seat and the boy had the gun in both hands and began to cry. That's when the grandmother said she'd been hit by the bullet in the back.

"It was in a pouch behind the passenger seat, somehow the child reached in and got ahold of it, that's something our detectives are working on today," Bollinger said.

The woman reportedly drove to a family member's home along Stanley Drive and called police.

The grandmother was transported to Carolinas Medical Center-Main in Charlotte.

There was earlier confusion from police on the age of the boy and the relationship to the woman who was shot.

Investigators will turn over case findings to the solicitor's office for possible weapons or other charges.

"There could be some child neglect, or some unlawful conduct towards a child charges based on the age of the child and leaving the gun within reaching distance of a young minor," Bollinger said.

While the injuries aren't believed to be life threatening, Bollinger says the incident is a reminder for parents to keep their guns locked and stowed away from children.

"We encourage people to get gun locks, we give them away free here at the Rock Hill Police Department," Bollinger said.

Family members and neighbors did not want to talk about what happened.

The case remains under investigation.

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