A shooting incident in New Florence, Missouri, has led to criminal charges for the mother of the boy authorities believe fired the weapon. The charges, however, are not directly related to a weapons offense, but are more directly associated with alleged criminal negligence that creates substantial risk of harm to a child under the age of seventeen.
Police believe that a 14-year-old boy fired a shotgun, hitting an 11-year-old girl in the throat. The girl was hospitalized with the gunshot wounds; her condition was not reported in a recent account from Mid-Missouri’s ABC 17 News.
Police believe that the boy had access to several guns and ammunition without proper training in the use of firearms. Prosecutors say that the mother knowingly allowed the boy to use the weapons before the horrible accident occurred over the weekend. Authorities claim that the mother told investigators that school officials had told her that the boy had displaying suicidal thoughts.
The woman was taken into custody Monday on suspicion of endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree. The child endangerment charge can rely on a laundry list of different factors; actual injury is not a necessary element of the offense, which is generally classified under Missouri law as a class A misdemeanor. The charge may rise to a felony if the allegations include that the offense was committed as part of some kind of ceremony or ritual.
Investigators are still trying to determine what was involved in the shooting. The boy was taken to a juvenile facility, although it is not clear what authorities plan to do related to the child. The mother was processed in Montgomery County and later released on bail.
Source: ABC 17 News, “Mother charged in son’s shooting of 11-year-old girl,” updated May 20, 2014