Police say teen "lucky to be alive" after friend accidentally shoots him in the chest
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Police say Monday night they got a call that a teen boy was shot through the wrist and into his chest.
Police said the 14-year-old ran to a neighbor's house with a friend and at first the boys said someone drove by the house and shot them. Later, the teens confessed that one accidentally shot the other.
The Range gun instructor Dave Kellett said keeping firearms locked up can ensure they stay out of the wrong hands.
"Every gun owner it's incumbent on them to realize that they are responsible for that gun," Kellett said. "They're responsible not only when their holding it, they're responsible for that gun when it's at home."
Some community members such as Jaylenne Brower said if you're going to keep guns in the house you should talk to you children about the potential dangers.
"Educating them about how serious they are," Brower said. "They kill people and you can't come back from that, really emphasis on how dangerous they can be."
But, when should parents start talking to their kids about guns? And when can kids start handling them?
Some in the community such as Lonnie Morgan said that responsibility falls on the parents.
"A parent who is a gun enthusiast should take their kid out to a range, show them how to properly handle a gun and where to aim it and what not to aim it at," Morgan said.
Kellett said some important safety rules to remember when handling a gun is to always act as if it's loaded and to never point the gun at someone or something you're not willing to shoot.
He said it's never to early to teach your child about gun safety, especially if you keep guns in your home.
"You want to prevent your kid from having a firearms tragedy, then you want to educate," he said. "Also expose them, take that mystery out of it. Kids are fascinated with guns they see them on TV, they see them on the Internet, the play with them in video games, they really need to see what a real gun does."
Police said the 14-year-old was released from the hospital and that he is very lucky that he did not have more serious injuries.
The Yakima County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting and may file criminal charges.