MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A 14-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital after he was accidentally shot by an 8-year-old girl.
Family members of Orlandis Valentine said they are praying for a speedy recovery after the shooting in an apartment in Hill View Village.
“He was shot in the side and it causes his ribs to break,” Valentine’s cousin Angel said.
Angel said Orlandis has a collapsed lung and the gunshot has caused dangerous blood clots.
“He’s getting better. He’s fighting,” she said. “He’s able to talk a little bit with the tube in his throat.”
Police have arrested 33-year-old Kevin Owens in connection to this shooting. He’s charged with three counts of child neglect, and one count of aggravated child abuse.
According to the police report, Owens admitted to investigators that he knew his 14-year-old step son was playing with the gun when the teen put the gun on a table. That’s when investigators said the 8-year-old picked up the gun and fired it.
"We must secure these weapons, Memphis Police Department Colonel Gregory Sanders said. “We have to; it’s imperative. Lives depend on it.”
There have been five instances of accidental shootings involving children in the Mid-South in the past two months.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland spoke about his disappointment with that high number.
“That’s so frustrating and sad,” Strickland said. “It’s sad for anyone who is injured or lost a life and we’ve had way too many accidental gun discharges.”
“You have to secure these guns,” Colonel Sanders said. “Putting a gun in a dresser drawer, those kinds of things, that’s not securing a gun.”
Memphis Police Department urges everyone to take advantage of free gun locks, available at any police precinct. The free locks prevent the gun from firing. MPD also said for less than $30, you can buy a gun box that will lock up the entire firearm.
Valentine, meanwhile, remains at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital where he is recovering.