Grandfather Accidentally Shoots Grandson at Wedding

( — A Texas man was arrested in Nebraska last weekend after accidentally shooting his 12-year-old grandson while preparing to officiate a wedding near Denton, reported.

According to Lancaster County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ben Houchin, Michael Gardner, 62, of Odessa, Texas, was about to officiate a wedding last Saturday evening when, in an effort to get the wedding guests’ attention, he planned to use his revolver to fire a blank into the air.

But when he cocked the hammer of his snubnose revolver, the gun slipped, and the projectile slammed into his grandson’s shoulder.

The boy was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Lincoln, and from there he was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Omaha. According to Chief Deputy Houchin, the child’s injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Houchin said the blank round was made by Michael Gardner, who put black powder into an empty casing and glued it closed. The projectile that struck the boy was believed to be a wad of glue.

Gardner turned himself in at the Lancaster County Jail on Monday, where he was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, a charge typically reserved for intentional injury.

According to Chief Deputy Houchin, deputies sought the felony charge due to the extent of the child’s injuries and Gardner’s use of a firearm.

While Gardner has not been formally charged with a crime, he was expected to appear in court on Monday.

Chief Deputy Houchin said that while they do not believe that Gardner intended to hurt his grandson, his action “was not very smart.”

Houchin explained that it was neglectful of Gardner to pull a gun and fire it in the midst of a group of people, even if the gun was loaded with blanks. He said Saturday’s incident was another example that “bad things can certainly happen” when playing with guns.

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