Four-year-old hospitalized after shooting involving BB gun - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Four-year-old hospitalized after shooting involving BB gun

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

 An evening of play time turned into an emergency when a 4-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital after he was shot with a BB gun Sunday.

"He had gotten shot somewhere up in the chest part," says neighbor, Robert Hill.

On Monday he remained in intensive care. The shooting is being called an accident by neighbors, they say a young teenager who lives nearby owns the BB gunbut its not clear if there was any adult supervision at the time.

Erlanger's Pediatric Injury Prevention Coordinator Coy Ellis says that can make all the difference. He says the emergency room sees between eight to ten children a year with similar injuries.

"Well they can be as severe as you can imagine," Ellis explains. Over the years he says BB guns have developed, becoming more powerful.

"Handheld firearms have a muzzle velocity of about 850 feet per second. Some of these non powdered guns, BB guns and things like that, they travel about 50 percent of that. You're talking about 450 feet per second," says Ellis.

At that speed a shot from a BB or pellet gun can be fatal. Nation wide BB gun shootings average four deaths a year. The Consumer Products and Safety Commission advice those under 16 not use them. "However, there's no regulation as far as that goes," Ellis says.  Most of the responsibility must lie on the parents who allow their children to have them.

"If they are made available they should be treated with the same respect and considered just as dangerous for these children as any firearm would be," says Ellis. All with the hopes accidents like these happen less often.

"I want to wish him well, hope he do get better," Hill says.

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