by Anne Meyer
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
5:07 PM CDT, March 11, 2013
Wichita police release new details and clarify what happened Sunday afternoon when a 4-year-old shot his cousin in the head with a pellet rifle.
The 5-year-old victim has improved to stable condition, and is still in the pediatric intensive care unit at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital.
"The child is in stable condition right now," said Wichita Police Lieutenant Doug Nolte. "They are hoping this child will be pulled off the ventilator and breathing on his own sometime today."
Nolte says the family didn't give them a clear story of what happened at first, so details were sketchy.
Investigators now say a 27-year-old man who lives in the home in the 2300 block of E. Winchester was firing a pellet gun earlier in the day Sunday. He came home and put it on the table.
At some point, the man's 4-year-old son picked up the pellet rifle and fired it, striking his 5-year-old cousin in the left side of his forehead.
The boy's family took him to the hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition.
Police determined the shooting was accidental, but the 27-year-old man was arrested was booked on child endangerment charges.
Officers urge parents who own guns of any type to keep them away from children.
"These are guns," Nolte said. "In this situation there was enough force to put a pellet through the skull of a 5-year-old."
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