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A 6-year-old found a gun in a Danville residence and fired it, sending a bullet through a wall and striking a 22-month-old child.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
DANVILLE - Sunday afternoon was not the first time police officers visited the home in the 700 block of Glendale Avenue because of shots being fired.
Maj. Chris Wiles of the Danville Police Department said a call of shots fired in June came from outside the home when a party apparently was breaking up.
Police responded to another call of shots fired Sunday just before 3 p.m. That's when police say a 6-year-old boy living in the home found a .380 handgun that belonged to a man also living in the home and accidentally fired the weapon.
The bullet from the .380 traveled through a wall in the home and struck a 1-year-old - who turns 2 later this year - in the back. The child was taken by private vehicle to Danville Regional Memorial Center and later taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
As of Monday morning, the little girl was listed in stable condition.
Neighbors say the area surrounding Glendale Avenue is usually quiet. Some of the neighbors got together and organized their own neighborhood watch program. One woman said she and three or four other women all swapped phone numbers and keep an eye on one another's homes for any suspicious activity.
The occupants of the home in the 700 block moved in about a month ago, according to one neighbor. She said no one really knows them and they pretty much keep to themselves. Some of the neighbors said they were aware of previous reports of shots fired.
Wiles said the easiest way to make sure shootings such as Sunday's do not occur is to lock up weapons. Most recently manufactured guns can be locked when not in use, Wiles said.
There are also safety measures such as gun cases that do not require keys but instead open using a keypad and numeric code. Biometric safes require fingerprint scans.
Cpl. T.B. Scearce of the Danville Police Department said there is no such thing as an accidental discharge - it is a negligent discharge. In order for a gun to fire, Scearce said three things have to occur: It has to be functional, it has to be loaded and the trigger has to be pulled.
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