7-year-old critical after pellet rifle shooting

SETH (AP) — A 7-year-old Boone County boy shot in the chest with a pellet rifle is in critical condition.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Chad Barker tells the Charleston Gazette the wound is near the boy’s heart, and he nearly died in the late-night shooting Tuesday.

Neither the victim nor the boy who fired the gun has been identified.

Barker said doctors at Charleston Area Medical Center are hopeful the child will recover.

The shooting remains under investigation but is believed to be an accident.

Barker says the incident is a reminder to parents that pellet guns are as dangerous as handguns. He says pellet rifles are now able to shoot pellets from 1,000 to 1,400 feet per second.

A standard handgun fires ammunition at up to 900 feet per second.

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