13-year-old boy injured in accidental shooting

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A 13-year-old boy was accidentally shot in the stomach by his 26-year-old brother during a family camping trip in San Juan County on Friday.

The San Juan County Sheriff's Office investigated the shooting and referred its findings to the District Attorney's Office for review and potential criminal charges, according to a press release.

Lt. Kyle Lincoln of the San Juan County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that Friday's incident was similar to the accidental shooting in January of an 8-year-old girl in Flora Vista.

"It's one of those situations where there was no intent, but it was a bad situation," he said.

As reported by The Daily Times on Jan. 16, an 8-year-old girl was shot in the neck by a rifle accidentally fired by her 6-year-old sister. The sisters were helping their father clean the family's home in Flora Vista when the shooting occurred.

Lincoln said no names will be released unless criminal charges are filed in the case.

According to the press release, deputies were dispatched shortly after midnight Friday to mile marker 11 on N.M. Highway 173, also known as Navajo Dam Road, in reference to the shooting.

Detectives learned at the scene that the boy was shot during an annual family camping trip in the hills north of the road, the release states.

The boy's brother was apparently showing his family his 40-caliber handgun around a campfire when it accidentally discharged, Lincoln said.

The bullet struck the 13-year-old boy in the gut, Lincoln said, and exited out his leg.

Lincoln said the boy was in stable condition, but due to his age, he was airlifted to the San Juan Regional Medical Center and later transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.

Alcohol was consumed throughout the trip, according to the press release, and Lincoln said the 26-year-old man admitted to consuming alcohol before the shooting occurred.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said his office has begun reviewing the facts of the case, but no decision has been made about whether charges will be filed against the 26-year-old brother.

He said his office is finalizing its decision on whether to bring charges against the father of the 8-year-old Flora Vista girl injured in January's accidental shooting. A decision should be made by the end of the week, O'Brien said.

In both cases, the charges being contemplated include negligent use of a deadly weapon and child abuse.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and stgarrison@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.