Two children injured after shooting at Thomas Rolfe Court - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Two children injured after shooting at Thomas Rolfe Court

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HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) -

A Hopewell toddler is in critical but stable condition following an accidental shooting Monday morning. Now, Child Protective Services is getting involved in the case. Police say the child's twin brother accidentally shot him in the lower back inside their apartment. But as police began to investigate, officers say the boy's mother lied about it all happened.

It happened at the Thomas Rolfe Court public housing complex on the 200 block of S. 8th Avenue around 10 am. This investigation has taken quite a few turns as the day progressed. Now, officers have uncovered new information, like a shell casing inside the apartment, that could lead to more developments.

When officers and crime tape surrounded the area- no one quite knew what was going on.

"Rumors were going around they got shot at the playground. You have too many kids out here," said Shirley Taylor.

In fact, that's what police say the 3 year old boy's mother told them - that someone shot the little boy as he played at this playground at the Thomas Rolfe public housing complex. Officers say, it didn't add up.

"All of the folks who were outside in proximity to the playground are saying that they did not hear a shot," said Chief John Keohane.

So they obtained search warrants - headed into the family's home and searched the car of the mother's boyfriend. That's where they say they found two guns, marijuana, and more answers about how it all unfolded.

"A 3 year old got his hands on it and more than likely thought it was a toy weapon and accidentally shot his brother today," Keohane said.

He says it did not happen at the playground, but inside the family's apartment. The boy who accidentally pulled the trigger - the victim's own twin - injured his hand in the process. That's when officers say the mother's boyfriend rushed him to another home - as the mom prepared to take the boy with a gunshot wound to the hospital.

"A kid getting a gun. It's foolish to me," said Joe Marsh.

Neighbors are now reacting to the news the scenario didn't play out quite how the story originated.

641 "I'm glad it wasn't a random shooting," Taylor added.

Now police are spreading a message to all gun owners, especially those with children at home.

"Secure your weapons….Never ever leave a weapon unattended, especially when it's loaded," Keohane said.

"Kids shouldn't even know that a gun, especially that young 3 years old, shouldn't even know a gun is in the house," Taylor said.

An officer ended up taking the mother and her son to the hospital. Officers say the bullet that landed in the toddler's lower back traveled up his body but doctors were able to remove it. His twin brother is expected to be fine. Charges are pending in this case.

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