Two boys shot in Valley

14-year-olds injured after an apparent accident at home

Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008

Two boys were hospitalized after being struck by a single bullet fired from a .44-caliber Magnum on Wednesday afternoon in an apparent accident at a Mendenhall Valley home, police said.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, one 14-year-old was in critical condition - usually an indication of severe injury and surgery - and a second was in stable condition at Bartlett Regional Hospital, hospital spokeswoman Michelle Casey said.

Casey added that shootings are very unusual at the hospital.

Five teenage boys were in the home at the time of the incident without adults, said Lt. Kris Sell of the Juneau Police Department. The boys had apparently taken the revolver from a locked cabinet and played a game with a single bullet in it. Authorities arrived at the scene on Hamstead Lane just after 3 p.m.

Sell emphasized that these details were the result of a preliminary investigation.

None of the boys were detained, though the three that didn't leave in ambulances spoke with investigators and were released to their parents.

Sell said the department would work with the district attorney's office to decide if any charges are appropriate, though it was too soon to know Wednesday evening. State law does not allow minors under 16 to possess firearms without their parents' permission.

The powerful handgun was the weapon made famous by Clint Eastwood's character in the "Dirty Harry" films.

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