A 10-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in a hand in South Lake Tahoe on Thursday after getting his grandfather’s gun out of the glove box of their car, according to authorities.
El Dorado County prosecutors were reviewing the incident to determine whether to file child endangerment charges, according to a news release from the South Lake Tahoe Police Department.
The child’s grandfather, who owns the gun, is a peace officer “from out of the area” and can lawfully carry a loaded firearm inside his vehicle, the release states. He had stored his personal firearm in the glove box, which has no locking mechanism.
The boy, who has autism, found the gun after his grandmother went inside a Staples store in the 2000 block of Lake Tahoe Boulevard. While they waited for her, the boy’s grandfather also got out of the car to let out their dog, according to the release.
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“While he was standing to the rear of their parked vehicle, and without his notice, the child got into the front seat and retrieved the gun from the glove box,” the release states. The boy then accidentally fired the pistol and sustained “serious damage” to a finger. He is expected to survive.
Responding officers took the gun as evidence and later submitted their evidence to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office. Police have not released the name of the boy or his grandparents.