Boy accidentally shot in head



OREGON CITY, Ore. – A 12-year-old Oregon City boy was rushed to the hospital Sunday night, after getting accidentally shot in the head by a friend at a neighbor’s house.

Investigators said Austin Stokes was in critical condition Monday. His family did not wish to release any statement.

Parents of Stokes' friends were devastated by the news.

"He always makes me smile, " said parent Ruth Facha, "He says hello Mrs. Facha! He's a great kid."

Police believe the shooting was an accident and said the father of one of the boys had left two shotguns unsecured in the living room of his home after going duck hunting.

"Police believe the 13-year-old male who lives at the address was playing with the shotgun... the 13-year old apparently shot his friend while trying to scare him with what he thought was an unloaded weapon," said Lt. Jim Band with the Oregon City Police Department.

Stokes was unconscious when emergency personnel arrived at the home on Clairmont Way. He was flown to Oregon Health and Science University for treatment and police told KGW his injuries were "critical."

Lt. Band said both families were struggling with the news.

“The kid [who fired the gun] was just traumatized, you know, it was his friend. One of the officers said when he showed up, he passed a kid sitting on the front steps with his head in his hands, just trying to figure out what happened," Band said.

The dad who owned the guns was at work and his wife was in a back room when the shooting occurred.

Parents at Gardiner Middle School, where Stokes attends, say this news is a huge wake-up call for gun owners.

"I can't figure out how somebody could have a gun and not have it in a safe, " said parent Michael Hauck.

"Should've locked them up, ' said parent Shauna King, "Kids will be curious and will play with guns."

The case has been forwarded to the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office to find out if any charges will be filed.