4-year-old Alaska boy shot when mom’s gun falls out of holster

A 4-year-old boy from Wasilla, Alaska, was shot on Saturday when his mother’s handgun fell out of its holster, discharging a round when it hit the pavement. The incident occurred in a parking lot near Wasilla.

The gun, a .357 magnum revolver, fell to the ground hammer-first. The bullet went through the boy’s leg above the knee, lodging in the trim of a nearby building.

Alaska State Troopers responded to a report of a gunshot injury to a young boy. They arrived to find medics already on the scene treating the child’s injury.

The boy was flown to Anchorage via LifeMed helicopter for treatment of his injuries. No one has been charged in the shooting. Alaska State Trooper spokesperson Tim DeSpain said that all indication show that the shooting was accidental, but an investigation is ongoing.

Wasilla is approximately 40 miles from Anchorage. The town of approximately 8,000 people is the sixth largest city in the state. It is considered a commuter suburb of Anchorage.

2013 data from the Violence Policy Center showed that Alaska led the nation in per capita gun deaths, with a rate of about 19.59 per 100,000 people, which is nearly double the national rate. The study also showed that about 60 percent of Alaskan households own a gun.

Last month a woman died in a highly publicized incident in which she shot herself while adjusting the revolver holster in her bra. Also occurring last month a 15-year-old accidentally shot his 13-year-old brother in Minnesota while playing cops and robber with a gun they found at home and thought was unloaded.

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