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Father Charged After 3-Year-Old Critically Hurt In Accidental Shooting

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James J. Jenkins / photo from Chicago Police

James J. Jenkins / photo from Chicago Police

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(CBS/STMW) — The father of a three-year-old boy has been charged after the boy was critically injured after shooting himself in the head in an apparent accident.

Authorities have charged the father of a 3-year-old boy who was critically hurt in an accidental shooting at a West Side home on Friday night.

James J. Jenkins, 26, faces one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon for possession of a firearm by a parolee, police announced Sunday morning. A judge ordered bond at $500,000 in a court appearance Sunday.

Jenkins allegedly owned the handgun that was accidentally discharged by the boy or a playmate about 7:30 p.m. at their home in the 4300 block of West Monroe, police said.

The boy’s name is James Jenkins as well.

He was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, officials said.

“Everybody is just in shock right now,” the boy’s aunt Annette Garvin said on Friday. “We are trying to put everything together.”

One neighbor said two people were sitting on the front porch of the home at the time of the shooting.

“There was a boom and they ran inside,” the neighbor said.

Tammy McNeal said she was driving when she saw people running towards the middle of the block.

“Then I heard screams, ‘someone’s been shot,’” McNeal said.

Neatre Strong, the boy’s grandmother, said James was a very active child.

“He loves pizza and music,” Strong said.

Ardell Strong, the boy’s great uncle, said the youngster “was a good kid — an average every day kid who liked to play video games.”

Strong added, “This should have never happened.”

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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