Police: Father accidentally shot 5-year-old son

Olney shooting
Philadelphia Police Captain James Kearney speaks to reporters Monday, April 24, about the shooting of a 5-year-old boy in Olney.
Jack Tomczuk

Detectives believe a man who was on house arrest and wearing an ankle monitor accidentally shot his 5-year-old son Monday morning inside a home in Olney.

The boy, who sustained a gunshot wound to his pelvis, was rushed to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where he was being treated for nonlife-threatening injuries, according to authorities.

An initial police report indicated the child was on the porch when he was struck by a bullet coming from the street.

“This was not a drive-by shooting. This was not a random act,” Philadelphia Police Captain James Kearney told reporters Monday afternoon. “This seems to be on the surface an accidental discharge in the hands of somebody who shouldn’t have had a gun to begin with.”

The gunfire occurred inside a house on the 200 block of W. Fischer Avenue, and officers responded to the shooting just after 9:15 a.m., police said.

Kearney said the father was convicted last month of illegally possessing a gun in connection with a November arrest. He was immediately paroled and placed on house arrest, Kearney added. The man was not publicly identified.

“We believed the father handled the gun in a way that accidentally discharged it and struck the son,” he said, adding that police and prosecutors are in the process of determining whether charges will be filed.

The father, who is prohibited from owning firearms, will at least be facing another gun-related case, as authorities found a shotgun while conducting a search of his home, Kearney said.

However, Kearney added, investigators believe the boy was injured by a handgun – a weapon that was presumably removed from the house before police arrived. No cartridge casing was found at the scene.

At the time of the shooting, the house was crowded with friends and family members, some of whom were brought in for questioning, he said.