North Carolina Police Officer Accidentally Shoots Son, 15, in Head

In Summary

An investigation is underway in North Carolina after a law enforcement officer accidentally shot his 15-year-old son in the head. 

WARNING: This story contains discussions of a shooting involving a police officer. 

A North Carolina 15-year-old suffered a life-threatening injury after his father, who is a police officer, accidentally shot him in the head on Monday, per WNCT News

The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina received word of the shooting at around 4:36 p.m., per a Facebook post from District Attorney Ernie Lee. 

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“The father of the victim is the alleged shooter, and he is employed as a law enforcement officer with the City of Jacksonville,” said Lee. 

He added the “tragic event and this matter” and the findings will be presented to his office to determine measures, if any, will be taken. 

It was a handgun that was used and according to all preliminary evidence, the shooting was unintentional. Neither the officer nor his son have been identified at this time. 

An Associated Press analysis revealed accidental shootings by law enforcement officers are not uncommon in the United States, with 1,422 unintentional firearm discharges reported across 258 police agencies nationwide from 2012 to 2019, per Newsweek

Experts say even a small number of accidental shootings is unacceptable since they can be prevented, noting the shootings occur as a result of officers not receiving the training they need to operate their guns safely. 

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“The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the incident and the Jacksonville Police Department is fully cooperating with their investigation,” Investigative Services Supervisor Lt. Christopher Funcke said in a press release, per WNCT. “We ask that our community members keep our employee and their family in their thoughts and prayers at this time.” 

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by shootings involving police officers, resources are available here.

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