Local News

Parents Charged After Son Shoots Friend

Posted November 16, 2007
Updated November 23, 2007

— Charges were filed Friday in the case of a 9-year-old boy who was critically injured by a friend playing with a loaded gun, authorities said.

The fourth-grader was playing with his sister and his best friend Thursday night when a handgun went off and he was shot in the head, authorities said.

The unidentified boy remained on life support at WakeMed in Raleigh Friday.

The boy's sister and friend, both 10, weren't injured in the incident.

The friend's parents kept a .25-caliber handgun in a drawer inside their home at 143 Independence Drive in Raeford, authorities said. The children were in the house alone when the shooting occurred.

The parents, Heath Dwayne Kinney, 35, and Loriann Kinney, 41, were charged with a misdemeanor offense of sell/give weapon to a minor and were released on $5,000 unsecured bonds.

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said charges could be upgraded to felony offenses if the wounded boy dies.

It was unclear whether the Heaths' son would face any charges in juvenile court.

Social workers were called in after the shooting and decided there was no cause to remove the boy from the Heaths' home.

From 2000 to 2004, 359 children in North Carolina died from gunshot wounds. Twenty-five of those were classified as accidental, while the rest were suicides or homicides.


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  • ltbarkley Nov 18, 2007

    From the time I could comprehend language my dad drilled into my head proper gun safety. I specifically remember the rifles on the wall rack, no locks, ammo in the draws below... Pistols in the night stand, ammo where I could get to it. But I was taught NEVER to play with them, and proper handling techniques for when I did hold them. None of the guns in our house were kept loaded.

  • PSPro Nov 18, 2007

    I am nobody! But, this is my theory! In my house, there are normally 2 semi-auto pistols, and 1 shotgun. If I am not there to personally supervise what these guns are doing (which is usually lying flat) they are locked up!! We bought are gun locker very inexpensively at wally world! The case that the shotgun is in has multiple MASTERLOCKS on them. Just keep in mind not everyone lives in a "what if" world. This could have been a situation where they normally have someone at home with their son, and something came up! Nobody is perfect!! These are good people!!

  • lizard Nov 18, 2007

    This is certainly a tragedy but to charge the parents is wrong. They're not charged when "little johnny" runs over someone with a car they supplied - which happens more times than this. Where are those figures WRAL?

  • cm258 Nov 18, 2007

    My prayers go to both families, extra ones for the boy in the hospital and for the mental state of the boy who accidently fired the shot. Please, if you feel it is neccessity to have a gun, feel as strongly about gun safety.

  • mom27863 Nov 17, 2007

    The sad thing is, a simple gun lock could have prevented it. They can be removed quickly by the adult if needed, but only if the kid doesn't know the combo/have the keys. An expensive safe is not needed if the gun owner uses the simple to use gun lock. My prayers are with both families.

  • rabidpro Nov 17, 2007

    Hmmmmm..... Let's see, I was given my first .22 at age six, my first shotgun at age 10 and my first 30-30 carbine at age 15. Every home in my surrounding neighborhood where I was raised had multiple firearms of ALL sorts of styles... Our parents were vets of WWII and had many military 'assault' type rifles/handguns (you know, those pesky, politically incorrect, Nazi issued Lugers were quite popular) brought back from various war theaters. Guess what!!! NONE of us were EVER injured by ANY of these weapons!!! BTW, my guns have killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car!!!! Educate yourselves, and most importantly educate your children about gun safety for Pete's sake!!!! Hmmmmm....

  • richard2 Nov 17, 2007

    Its your RIGHT as an American to own firearms. Its YOUR
    responsibility to keep that firearm secure. If you don't you will be sued. Every bullet has a lawyer attached.

  • lizard Nov 17, 2007

    I always have a loaded gun readily accesible for my wife and child to use to defend themselves. Thye should have that right to life. I don't want to read the headlines about how a grandfather or someone comes home to find his sixteen year old granddaughter murdered, any more. I'd rather it be accidental if anything. It's doesn't terrorize the community as much.

    What are the 359 "children" they are talking about at the end of this story? What are their ages? What is this media's idea of a child? Why pick the years 2000-2004? Seems strange.

  • carolinagirl75 Nov 16, 2007

    my family had guns in the house, and i was taught to shoot at an early age (like 8). we were taught that it was absolutley unacceptable to touch the guns when an adult wasn't home...still, that doesn't mean that i didn't open up my parent's nightstand and pick up a loaded .22 on more than one occaision...my mom didn't know about this until last year when I told her (i'm in my 30s) what i used to do...she was spewing the usual line "folks just need to teach their kids not to touch guns and it'll be alright" line...I told her and she freaked out...I was a good kid and was well-supervised...kids are just short sighted and tempted by things that seem (are) dangerous. bottom line, lock up your guns.

  • pwilliamson53 Nov 16, 2007

    Bless these families as they go through this trying time. Our prayers are with all of you.
    Guns should be locked and stored away out of reach of children. Children should be taught guns aren't a toy. Accidents do happen, and this was a tragic accident.