US

Police Arrest Gun Owner After 8-Year-Old Boy Shoots Mother at Baseball Game

By Zachary Stieber

Police officers in Tennessee arrested the owner of gun that an 8-year-old boy obtained and accidentally fired at a baseball game, hitting his mother.

The boy discovered the gun inside an antique World War II Jeep that was inside U.S.A. Stadium in Millington, where the annual Babe Howard Baseball Classic game was being played between the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee at Martin on May 14.

“The child found an unsecured handgun inside the vehicle and believed it was a toy gun,” the Millington Police Department said in a statement. “The child picked up the gun and pulled the trigger, firing a round which struck the child’s mother.”

The mother was rushed to the hospital and was listed in critical condition. The game was suspended due to the shooting.

Police traced the gun to its owner, 76-year-old Charles McFarland Jr., and then arrested and charged him with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.

“Everybody’s got a right to carry if they’ve got a permit,” Millington police chief Mark Dunbar said, reported the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “But you need to use common sense about securing your weapons.”

Police said the man doesn’t have a criminal record.

“He’s never been in trouble a day in his life. Just a mistake,” Dunbar said, reported Fox 13.

McFarland is part of the Mid-South Vehicle Preservation Association, a club that on its website says its purpose is “to provide adequate organization for historians, military vehicle preservationists, and collectors interested in and encouraging the acquisition, preservation, restoration, operation, public education and display of military transport.”

“Such to be accomplished through the publication of a club periodical, encouragement and support of museums, participation and support of national and community even (sic) and such other activities as the members deem appropriate from time to time,” it stated.

A message from McFarland telling members to renew their dues is on the site and his name is listed as a contact for people wanting more information about the club.

He was being held without bond.

The 8-year-old’s identity has not been released.

In a statement sent to news outlets, the Millington school district said: “Millington Municipal Schools is very concerned about the news of one of our students. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

Anyone with information was asked to call the Criminal Investigations Division at 901-873-5600, Millington Police Department Dispatch after hours at 901-872-3333. Anonymous tips may be submitted to 528-CASH.