The 3-year-old son of a North Carolina pastor accidentally shot his 2-year-old brother in the head with their father’s gun in a church parking lot — and is miraculously expected to make a full recovery.
The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. Sunday outside River Valley Baptist Church in Morganton — a city about 75 miles northwest of Charlotte.
The pastor of the church, Rev. Adam Vines, told WBTV that his older son had gotten hold of a gun in the side door of the family’s parked van and accidentally fired the weapon, injuring his younger brother, Daniel Vines.
The Vines family were attending an evening church service at the time of the shooting.
Vines said luckily the bullet did not pierce his son’s brain, and he was able to talk and move.
“It did go in behind his ear, but it went across the corner of the lower side, instead of going through the brain,” the father-of-five pastor said.
Daniel was airlifted by helicopter to the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where he underwent emergency surgery and was listed in stable condition Monday, according to his dad.
“We’re lucky it wasn’t as bad of a damage as first thought,” Vines said, adding that Daniel is expected to make a full recovery but will require therapy.
The pastor also said that his older son who fired the gun was “in shock.”
Burke County Sheriff Robert Hinceman told WSOC-TV that his deputies have confiscated the pastor’s handgun as part of the ongoing investigation.
It will be up to the district attorney to decide if charges should be filed in connection with the shooting.