By all accounts, it was an accident.
A 9-year-old boy in Ford City, Pennsylvania, was teasing his dog with the laser sight on father’s gun. He accidentally pulled the trigger, and a single bullet hit his 6-year-old half brother in the neck.
The victim, Isaac Deemer, was rushed to the hospital, where he spent nearly a month in critical condition.
It may have been an accident, but police say it was completely avoidable – and they have charged the boys’ father, Christopher McNeely, with child endangerment for leaving the gun on the kitchen counter.
At the time of the shooting, Christopher McNeely was asleep in an upstairs bedroom. His wife, Crista McNeely, has also been charged with child endangerment. She was at work when Isaac was shot.
According to a search warrant obtained by PEOPLE, police removed five guns and nearly 9,000 rounds of ammunition from the home. TribLive.com reports that the guns and ammunition were stored in the 9-year-old boy’s bedroom.
At Thursday’s arraignment, Christopher McNeely was charged with two felony counts each of endangering the welfare of a child and possession of a firearm by a minor. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment.
Crista McNeely was charged with two felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child. According to documents obtained by PEOPLE, Christopher McNeely’s bond was set at $15,000, and Crista McNeely’s bond was set at $7,500. Neither has yet entered a plea.
With Isaac on the mend, his mother is breathing a sigh of relief – and making sure it doesn’t happen again.
Julie Deemer has full custody of Issac, but she often let him stay overnight at McNeely’s house so he could spend time with his father and brothers. Now, as part of his bond agreement, McNeely is not allowed to have contact with his son unless supervised by staff members from Children and Youth Services.
“God really was watching over him,” Julie Deemer, told TribLive.com. He definitely had a guardian angel with him at the time. Or he wouldn’t be with us right now.
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