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Martinsburg boy hurt in accidental shooting

August 05, 2005|by CANDICE BOSLEY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A 14-year-old boy in Martinsburg was critically injured late Tuesday when he accidentally shot himself in the head while playing with a gun, officials said.

Police said the shooting happened at 11:23 p.m. in a home on North High Street. Police declined to release the boy's name.

The boy first was taken to City Hospital and later transferred to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia, where he was admitted to an intensive care unit, according to a press release from Detective Sgt. George Swartwood with the Martinsburg Police Department.

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A hospital spokeswoman said she did not have any information about the boy.

"It was a very serious injury," Swartwood said Thursday afternoon, but he declined to comment further about the ongoing investigation.

"With respect to the family and their wishes, I'm trying to be discreet," he said.

The gun involved in the shooting, a .32-caliber revolver, was seized by police as evidence and for forensic testing. It had one spent cartridge in its cylinder, Swartwood said.

Investigators obtained a videotaped statement from the gun's owner, who also was not identified by police.

"From evidence and interviews gathered at the scene, and a witness that was present at the time of the incident, the preliminary information indicates that this was an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound," Swartwood wrote in the release.

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