REPORT: Man Accidentally Shoots His 12-Year-Old Grandson While Officiating Wedding

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Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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A wedding ceremony in Nebraska quickly turned tragic after a 62-year-old grandfather accidentally shot his 12-year-old grandson while officiating the wedding.

The incident took place Saturday evening during a wedding held outside of Denton, approximately 10 miles southwest of Lincoln. Michael Gardner allegedly wanted to “gain everyone’s attention” by firing a Pietta model 1860 snub nose revolver on air, according to Chief Deputy Ben Houchin of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. Unfortunately, he fumbled with the firearm while cocking back the hammer, causing it to discharge, police said. The bullet struck his young grandson in the shoulder.

Despite the gun being loaded with blanks, the force was still sufficient to inflict a serious injury on the child, according to police. Houchin explained that these blanks were homemade, filled with black powder, and then sealed with glue. After the accidental firing of the gun, the injured boy was immediately transported to a local hospital and later transferred to Omaha for further medical attention. Fortunately, his injuries were non-life-threatening, police said.

Authorities do not suspect any malicious intent on the part of the grandfather, but they acknowledge that his actions were far from prudent. In light of the seriousness of the child’s injury and the involvement of a firearm, the grandfather now faces felony child abuse charges, according to police. Both the grandfather and grandson are from Odessa, Texas. (RELATED: Border Patrol Agent Accidentally Shot Suspected Smuggler While Trying To Detain Him, Officials Say)

“It’s just kind of neglectful to take a gun out that has blanks and fire it amongst people,” Houchin said in a statement. “Playing with firearms, no matter what, [even] if they’re blanks, bad things can certainly happen.”

 “We do not believe Michael intended to hurt his grandchild. But the act was not very smart,” the Chief Deputy added.

Gardner voluntarily surrendered himself at the Adult Correctional Facility on Monday. Authorities have charged him with child abuse, specifically for negligently discharging a firearm that resulted in injury. If found guilty, Gardner could face a sentence of up to three years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000, FOX 7 reported.