Accidental shooting injures child in Oakdale

A 9-year-old girl has survived after she was accidentally shot in Oakdale Friday evening, according to Oakdale police.

Police responded to a residence on the 1800 block of Helena Road N. just after 6:30 p.m. July 26. They found the girl, who’d been shot in the upper chest, in an upstairs living room. She was alert and talking to officers.

Police determined the girl had been inadvertently shot by her 5-year-old brother with a .22 caliber rifle.

The girl was transported to Region’s Hospital, where she was initially listed as in stable condition. By Monday, Oakdale Community Affairs Officer Michelle Stark said the girl had been discharged from Gillete Children’s Hospital.

“We are just thankful that she’s been discharged,” Stark said, noting that she can’t recall any recent similar incidents that have taken place in Oakdale.

“My understanding is that there was some repair work being completed related to the rifle, and it was left out,” Stark said.

The children’s father and grandfather were reportedly home at time of the shooting, Stark said, and police have submitted reports to the city and county attorney for possible charges. As of Monday, no charges had been filed related to the shooting.

Stark stressed the importance of gun safety and encouraged gun owners to take steps to prevent accidental shootings.

Ammunition should always be stored separately from firearms, Stark said, and chambers of stored handguns and long guns should be clear of any ammunition. Gun safety locks and trigger locks should be engaged, she said, and firearms should be kept in gun lock boxes or rifle cabinets to which children don’t have access to the keys or lock combinations. Keys and combinations should always be kept separately from the storage areas.

Stark also encouraged gun owners to seek out educational opportunities for both adults and children. Information about gun safety classes can be found through local gun clubs, shooting ranges, or places that sell firearms, she said

Children should always be supervised around any types of firearms, Stark added.

— Alex Holmquist

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