Police in Shakawe are investigating an incident in which a 14-year-old boy of Ndorotsha cattle post was accidentally shot with a gun by his 17-year-old brother while they were on a search for their livestock in Gunotsoga.
District No 17 Officer Commanding, Senior Superintendent Victor Nlebesi confirmed that the incident occurred on Monday afternoon but was reported the following day at around 10 am.
According to Nlebesi, the two brothers who were also in the company of their other 13-year-old brother went on a search of the livestock with their grandfather’s 12-gauge rifle without his knowledge. During the search the trio are said to have met a hippopotamus in the bush and they immediately started running for their lives.
Nlebesi said as they were running the elder brother is said to have then started shooting at the hippo but unfortunately a pellet hit his 14-year-old brother on the thigh. The police boss indicated that the injured boy spent a night at home without any medical attention until the incident was reported the following day when he was rushed to Gumare Primary Hospital.
Nlebesi said investigations are still ongoing to find out if the firearm was registered and kept in a safe place. He added that they are also yet to establish if the boy was holding the gun properly at the time of shooting noting that such issues are carefully investigated to determine if the incident was indeed a mistake or not.
He said that the 17-year-old boy might face charges of unlawful possession of firearms while his grandfather might also be charged should it be found that the gun was unregistered and that it was also not stored in a safe place.
Meanwhile Nlebesi has since urged gun owners to safely store their guns to avoid easy access to those firearms advising them to have gun safes.
He warned that if easily accessed guns can be stolen and used for criminal activities or even taken by minors who do not have any knowledge on the proper handling of such, consequently possibly causing fatal incidents. He further advised the general public not to handle any firearms without knowledge and license of their use no matter how easily accessible they might be.