A hunter shoots a baby accidentally while resting in his father's arms inside their home. The bullet hit the baby's head and came from a.308 hunting rifle, according to Indiana County District Attorney Pat Dougherty.
As WPXI reports, the episode occurred Thursday night in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, around 7 p.m.
"It was originally reported that the bullet had grazed the child's head, but it had actually penetrated the child's head," Dougherty says.
While the 5-day-old infant was in his father's arms on the couch when a bullet shot through the window of their home located on Elders Ridge Road in Young Township.
Dougherty says the bullet allegedly came from some hunters on private property across the street. The DA shares that the hunters have been cooperative in the process, and they might know which one fired the bullet.
"Nobody would be able to make that shot if they tried," Dougherty adds. "It's unbelievable."
The child had surgery at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Thursday night. In an updated report on the baby's condition, WTAE News 4 reports that the 5-day-old remains in the intensive care unit.
DA Dougherty explains the scene in detail. He mentions that the baby's father was also grazed by the bullet.
"The father was holding the baby on the couch, another child was in the same living area, mom was preparing dinner when dad heard a bang and felt the child's head snap. Dad actually got grazed by the bullet after it went through the child's head."
Farmer Joe Bosch owns the property where hunters were at, and says his son-in-law fired the shot. He explained the event to a WTAE.
"They seen a deer. They seen a couple of them there, and they fired, and they said they seen the dirt flying in the ground, but you can't tell, you know. It might have ricocheted."
Bosch adds that deer destroy his crops, so he gets tags to shoot several deer; he gives them to hunters who have permission to kill on his private property.
Dr. Barbara Gaines of Children's Hospital isn't allowed to talk specifics about the infant's recovery from the gunshot wound, but she says he has a long road ahead of him in healing from his injuries.
"A 5-day-old is just learning how to become an air-breathing independent organism. It's only been separated from a placenta for five days. There can be issues related to immaturity of the heart and the lungs, as well as immaturity as other vital structures."
DA Doughery says the case is being conducted as a criminal investigation, but strong evidence suggests the baby being shot by the hunter is purely accidental.
[Image via Imgarcade.com]