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Police: Athens teen was accidentally shot by 3-year-old nephew

By Joe Johnson

A 13-year-old Athens boy who was shot Saturday was struck in the head by a bullet fired from a gun that his 3-year-old nephew was handling, according to Athens-Clarke County police.

The injured teen was flown to a children’s hospital in Atlanta with what police said were “serious” injuries.

ACCPD spokesman, Lt. Shaun Barnett, said an investigation was trying to determine if any adult in the home should be criminally charged.

"This incident was completely preventable," he said. "Leaving a firearm accessible to a juvenile is a conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that caused severe bodily harm to the 13-year-old victim. We are working to confirm the origins of the firearm -- who purchased it, brought it into the home and how it made its way into the hands of a juvenile -- and ensuring that whoever handled the firearm was legally allowed to possess firearms. Any and all appropriate charges will be made based on the results of the investigation."

The victim was said to be a student at Hilsman Middle School, and police indicated that the incident occurred at about 2 p.m. Saturday in a home on Essex Court off of Cedar Shoals Drive.

“Preliminary information suggests that the 3-year-old nephew of the 13-year-old victim gained access to a firearm and accidentally discharged the firearm, striking the 13-year-old,” Barnett said. Monday morning.

"I do not have any updates on the 13-year-old's condition at this time, the police public information officer said.

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