Archive for Wednesday, May 26, 1999

TEEN-AGER CLAIMS GUN ACCIDENTALLY WENT OFF

May 26, 1999

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A Southwest Junior High School student is telling Lawrence police he doesn't know who owns the handgun that accidentally went off in his hands Monday afternoon, causing injury to two of his fingers.

Police didn't find out about the accident until they got a call from staff at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital emergency room about 15 minutes later.

The 14-year-old boy left the emergency room when he heard police were en route to the hospital, Sgt. George Wheeler said. Police later found him elsewhere in the hospital, visiting someone, Wheeler said.

The boy told police he had been at a residence in the 1700 block of Kentucky and was leaving when he saw an acquaintance outside in the street at 17th and Ohio.

The acquaintance showed him a small handgun, the student said.

As the 14-year-old was handling the gun, the weapon went off, injuring the ring and middle fingers of his left hand. The accident happened about 4:45 p.m. Monday, according to a report released Tuesday. Police got involved about 5 p.m.

The student told police he doesn't recall the acquaintance's name.

Staff at the hospital treated and released the boy.

Efforts to reach him Tuesday were unsuccessful.

No one under age 18 can possess a handgun with a barrel less than 12 inches.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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