9-year-old shot in Livingston, appears ‘accidental,’ deputies say

A 9-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the face Wednesday night in Livingston, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Deputies described the shooting as “accidental.” Capt. B.J. Jones told the Sun-Star a round of bird shot struck the child on the right side of his face, close to his eye. Investigators do not believe the child suffered a “direct hit,” but stopped short of calling the it a grazing wound. He called the wound “serious.”

The child was flown to a Sacramento hospital. An update on his condition was not immediately available.

The incident was reported at 5:45 p.m. at a shop near Victor’s Produce at 14588 Atwater Jordan Road in Livingston, the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

Jones said the victim’s 14-year-old brother was holding a break action .410, only capable of holding a single round.

“He had his finger on the trigger when the gun went off and the victim happened to be standing across from him,” Jones said in the news release.

The teenager did not immediately realize his younger brother had been shot, Jones said, until he saw the child crying.

“He then went and told his father as he knew the injury was serious,” Jones said. “The child was alert and talking while being treated by (emergency) personnel.”

Jones said family members are cooperating with investigators. He said deputies are still trying to determine the exact circumstances surrounding the incident.