'Sweetest Man' Arrested After Son Shoots Mom at Ballgame

The boy took the gun from a WWII jeep on display
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2019 5:45 PM CDT
Man Arrested After 8-Year-Old Shoots Mom at Ballgame
Charles McFarland Jr.   (Millington Police Department)

In a shocking story out of Tennessee, a mother is in critical condition after her 8-year-old son shot her at a college baseball game. Police responded to a 911 call at USA Baseball Stadium in Millington, where the boy had taken the gun from a World War II jeep on display for Veterans Appreciation Day and apparently mistook it for a toy, Fox News reports. Police later tracked down and arrested the gun's owner, 76-year-old Charles McFarland Jr., who was charged with reckless endangerment of a deadly weapon. "Everybody's got a right to carry if they've got a permit," Millington police chief Mark Dunbar tells the Commercial Appeal. "But you need to use common sense about securing your weapons."

That said, McFarland has his supporters. Dozens of comments have cropped up on Facebook saying the owner of a military museum and gun shop isn't fully responsible for the shooting, per Heavy. "I served with him ... this was an accidental shooting, yes the weapon should have been unloaded and put in a more secure place BUT also the parents should have exercised a better watch, children especially younger ones are quick and very curious," writes one user. But that must be cold comfort to the mother, who remains at Regional One Hospital in Memphis. The ballgame between University of Memphis and UT-Martin was cancelled. (A mother killed her teen daughter while she was calling 911.)

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