Girl, 17, is hurt in gun accident

Friend was showing pistol to others when it fired

He found weapon in father's safe

Bullet hits victim in chest, she's in serious condition

Woodbine

July 07, 2004|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

An 18-year-old playing with a handgun he grabbed out of his father's safe accidentally shot a teenage girl yesterday afternoon in his Woodbine home, Howard County police said.

The girl, 17, was standing in a first-floor bathroom when she was hit in the chest by a single bullet from the small-caliber gun fired accidentally by Benjamin M. Allen, said Pfc. Richard Malcolm, a Howard police spokesman.

Allen had taken out the gun to show the girl and three 18-year-old friends who had entered the house after swimming in a pool on the property, Malcolm said.

Police were dispatched to the house in the 800 block of Iron Rail Court about 4:30 p.m. in response to a 911 call reporting the shooting, the spokesman said.

Police said Allen appeared to have accidentally discharged the gun while standing in the home's office, where the safe was. The bathroom where the girl was standing is across the hall from the office, police said.

The victim - Katie L. Weyer of the 14000 block of Howard Road in Dayton - was reported in serious condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

A state police MedEvac helicopter landed in a field about 100 yards from the home and took the girl to the hospital, neighbors said.

Malcolm said the girl told police that she thought the shooting was unintentional. There was no evidence of drugs or alcohol use, the spokesman said.

Malcolm said Allen knew how to open the electronic safe. He "began to play with the handgun ... and a round struck the girl in the chest," he said.

Investigators interviewed Allen at his home. No charges have been filed against him or his parents, Malcolm said. He said the father wouldn't be charged because he had locked the gun in a safe.

Allen "happened to know the combination," Malcolm said.

The home, at the end of a long driveway off a cul-de-sac, has been owned by Mark A. and Coral L. Allen since 1996, according to state property records.

The couple have three children, the 18-year-old and two younger daughters, according to a neighborhood directory.

Malcolm said no other relatives were home at the time of the shooting.

Neighbors strolled by police cars and reporters, but most declined to comment.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.