Local News

Parents Charged After Son Shoots Friend

Posted November 16, 2007 5:12 p.m. EST
Updated November 23, 2007 3:22 p.m. EST

— 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.