Family left a pistol in their unlocked car and a 10-year-old thought it was a toy

A Statesville woman is facing a weapons charge after a 10-year-old boy accidentally shot himself in the head while playing with the family’s handgun.

Christina Gibbs Little, 38, is charged with misdemeanor failure to secure a firearm to protect a minor, said the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office. Little was given a $5,000 unsecured bond.

Christina Gibbs Iredell County Sheriff’s Office

The sheriff’s office did not say whether Little is related to the boy, who was treated at a hospital in Winston-Salem. His injuries were not life threatening.

The shooting happened early Thursday at a home on Compton Park Road in Statesville, investigators said. His brother called 911, deputies said.

“Initially, the 10-year-old told deputies a stranger had fired the gun, but later admitted he had been playing with the gun when it went off,” according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

“During the investigation it was learned that the family keeps a revolver pistol in the car for safety and the child had gotten the gun from the unlocked vehicle.”

It’s against the law in North Carolina to leave a firearm where an unsupervised minor can find it. In this case, the loaded handgun was left in an unlocked vehicle in the garage of the home where the child retrieved it, officials said.