Police: 11-Year-Old Accidentally Shot 12-Year-Old Boy In Face - Fox 2 News Headlines

Police: 11-Year-Old Accidentally Shot 12-Year-Old Boy In Face

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CAMDEN, N.J. -

Workers spent the morning washing away the blood on the front steps of an apartment where police say a 12-year-old boy was accidentally shot in the face by his 11-year-old schoolmate.

"It does not appear they were playing with the gun. It seems to be more as though there was curiosity. They had come across a handgun. It was an accidental discharge," said Chief Scott Thompson, of the new Camden County Metro Police Force.

"I don't know what kids are doing with guns like that," neighbor Maira Morales told FOX 29

The two sixth-grade boys were getting ready to head to classes at the H.B. Wilson Elementary School just before 8 a.m. when the gun went off, striking the 12-year-old. He was taken to the trauma unit at Cooper University Hospital in critical condition.

"The bullet traveled through the front of the 12-year-old's face," Chief Thompson told reporters. "He was rushed to Cooper University Medical Hospital and underwent surgery."

"First of all, where did they get the gun from? They're too young and if they were playing in the house, what was the gun doing in the house," another neighbor said.

Investigators did recover the .38-caliber revolver at the scene. Sources say the victim's 19-year-old brother was the only adult in the home at the time of the shooting. The victim's sister witnessed the shooting. She denied the brother was at home.

Police still have lots of questions about how the weapon got into the hands of the 11-year-old.

"We're looking into whether the gun was legally owned. Who the owner of the gun was. What exactly the gun was doing at that location," Thompson said .

The chief says New Jersey law requires all guns to be locked and out of the reach of children.

"There's a myriad of charges that could be in play when we get to the bottom of what happened here," he added.

But neighbors insist guns have no place in a home with children.

"I just don't think having a gun is safe in a house with kids anyway," a neighbor said.

Thompson said the prognosis for the 12-year-old is good. He was airlifted to a hospital in Trenton for special pediatric care. He is expected to be airlifted back to Cooper later on Friday night.

Police hope to question the victim's 19-year-old brother about the gun. The boy's mother has been at his side in the hospital all day.

The 11-year-old will not be charged. He and his mother cooperated with the investigation. The boy was released to his parents.

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