Investigators ruled the shooting of a 9-year-old boy on Wednesday “accidental,” but said Child Protective Services and the Merced County District Attorney’s Office would review the case as a matter of routine, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department said.
“We’re very confident it was an accident, but those agencies typically review these types of case,” Capt. B.J. Jones said Thursday.
Jones said the child is expected to recover from his injuries.
Deputies responded about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday to a shop near Victor’s Produce, 14588 Atwater-Jordan Road in Livingston.
The 9-year-old was rushed to a Sacramento hospital by helicopter after suffering a gunshot wound to the right side of his face, near his eye. The weapon, a .410 shotgun, discharged a birdshot round while in the hands of the victim’s 14-year-old brother, deputies said.
Investigators said the teenager had his finger on the trigger when his younger brother was standing across from him.
The boys were hunting birds with their father earlier in the day, Jones said.
“The family is obviously very concerned, distraught, over this accident,” Jones said. “They’ve been very cooperative with our investigators.”