HARVARD – A 15-year-old boy underwent surgery Tuesday after his 12-year-old brother accidentally shot him in the abdomen with a .22 caliber rifle at a residence near Harvard.
The two brothers started playing with the unsecured rifle they thought was not loaded when the 12-year-old boy pulled the trigger and shot his brother, said McHenry County Sheriff Lt. James Popovits.
The two juveniles were under the care of a “couple of adults,” who were at home in the 9700 block of Wright Road during the incident but in a separate room, Popovits said.
The brothers’ parents were out of town, but police notified them of the shooting.
Police said the 15-year-old boy was flown to Rockford Memorial, where he underwent surgery. As of late Tuesday afternoon, police said the boy was in fair condition.
Criminal charges have not been filed, as the sheriff’s office continues to investigate the incident.
After incidents like this, adults should remember to teach children about proper firearm use, Popovits said.
“Teach them the consequences of pointing a firearm at somebody while not knowing whether it’s loaded,” he said. “Every firearm should be treated as if it was loaded.”
– Stephen Di Benedetto