A Frostproof boy was in critical condition Thursday after his brother accidentally shot him with a BB gun at close range, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.
Investigators said the victim, 10, and his brother, 13, were recently given Daisy Powerline 880S BB/pellet guns and were firing at targets outside when the older brother accidentally shot his sibling.
The victim was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, but his condition is no longer being released.
"It is scary," said Vladamir Chichkov of Tampa, who said he currently has four or five BB guns and allowed his now-college-age son to have one when he was 8 years old.
"When I started working with him, of course, the safety was the first thing," Chichkov said.
Emergency room doctors at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg said they typically treat about 10 BB gun-related injuries a year, and some are serious.
"Children are playing with BB guns here in Florida all the time, and unfortunately these episodes happen from time to time," said Dr. Patrick Mularoni. "If somebody gets shot with a BB and it enters into a vessel or it enters into the eye, those are very sensitive places."
Gun experts at Shooting Sports of Tampa hope this shooting puts a spotlight on BB gun safety and said parents should look a the incident as a warning.
"You shouldn't be out there shooting an animal, you shouldn't be out there shooting each other with it, you're going to get hurt," said Shawn Penwell, a sales representative at the sporting goods store.
"I don't believe that the problem is guns, the problem is in the lack of education," Chichkov said.
A spokesperson for Daisy said parents should always be around if their kids are using BB guns and recommended teaching children to keep guns pointed in a safe direction at all times.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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