Police try to determine who fired shot that injured 3-year-old boy

Investigators run tests

child in critical condition

June 08, 1999|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A 3-year-old boy who might have accidentally shot himself in the head with his father's gun Sunday remained in critical condition yesterday. Baltimore police said they are trying to determine who fired the weapon.

Investigators said yesterday that they had conducted gunshot residue tests on the child, Jordan Garris, and his father, Cliff Garris, 23. The test determines whether someone fired a weapon by measuring chemicals left on the hand of the person holding the gun.

The elder Garris told police Sunday that he was on the first floor of his house in the first block of N. Ellwood Ave. when he heard a shot from the basement.

Police said that Jordan apparently found his father's Ruger 9 mm semiautomatic handgun hidden under a pillow or a mattress. The child was shot in the right side of the head.

Jordan was in critical and unstable condition yesterday afternoon at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, said Detective Clifton F. Macer of the city's homicide unit.

Macer described the tests as a routine part of the investigation. The tests could help detectives determine whether Jordan fired the handgun.

The elder Garris could not be reached yesterday for comment. A spokeswoman for Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Stacy Vernick, said the family did not wish to talk to a reporter and would not authorize the further release of medical information. No one was home at Garris' address.

Macer said the test results could take several days.

Pub Date: 6/08/99

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