3-year-old accidentally shot as gun was being ‘passed around’ during party

Posted at 3:35 PM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 17:10:03-04

SANDY, Utah -- Police in Utah are investigating after a 3-year-old and his father were accidentally shot after a 27-year-old guest passed around a handgun he did not think was loaded, according to KSTU.

An adult party was going on inside an apartment on Saturday evening when a guest started passing around a handgun.

“A nine-millimeter handgun was being handled and the gun went off and the one round that was fired did strike a 3-year-old in the arm,” said Sgt. Jason Nielsen, Sandy Police Department. “The 28-year-old father was struck in the leg with the same bullet."

The boy and his father were taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Some of the neighbors did not hear the gunshot but they are rattled by what happened and that it could have been worse.

“That is scary,” said neighbor Cassidy Barlow. “It is scary to think that if it did happen to go through a wall it could have hit the neighbors, but it did hit people so that is scary.”

Other neighbors did see police at the scene and one officer holding a young girl who may have been at the party.

“He asked the girl once or twice if she would like to pet the dog,” said neighbor Nathan Pritchard. “Obviously in an attempt to calm the girl down and both times she squeezed him tighter.”

It is not known if alcohol was a factor in the accident or if the gun owner will be charged. He could face a charge of negligent discharge of a weapon, which is a class A misdemeanor that can carry a one-year jail sentence.