Crime & Courts

17-month-old shot by 3-year-old brother in Cleveland County

A 17-month-old girl was in the hospital Thursday after being shot with a handgun by her 3-year-old brother in Cleveland County.

The shooting happened about 11:30 a.m. on Jenny Drive, near Patterson Springs, according to dispatchers.

The injured child was ultimately taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and is expected to survive, law enforcement agents told WSOC-TV.

A child under 6 cannot face criminal charges in North Carolina, but authorities were trying to decide if charges would be brought against either parent for failing to secure a gun, according ot the Shelby Star, which reported that the gun was owned by the children’s father.

The Shelby Star reported that the children’s father and owner of the gun is Justin Carper, who writes a parenting column for the newspaper.