Teenager wounded after playing with ammunition

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Teenager wounded after playing with ammunition

CREATED Oct 15, 2012

Web Producer: Taylor Higgins, Nikki O'Shea

MAMMOTH, Ariz. - A 14-year-old boy sustained a gunshot wound to his left hand after experimenting with rounds of ammunition just outside of Mammoth.

Deputies from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Medical Technicians responded to the 83000 block of west Palomita Drive around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The boy was stabilized by the medical staff and transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery, according to Tim Gaffney, with the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation concluded that two 14-year-old boys found ammunition in a backyard shed and placed it in a metal pipe that was held between a vice. The juveniles then struck the pipe with a hammer or ax and multiple rounds were discharged.

Gaffney tells KGUN9 that shrapnel from a 12-guage shotgun bullet was lodged in the left hand of the victim. Two spent casings from a rifle chambered 30-30 were located in the backyard as well. 

An old piece of wooden furniture was also found placed in the path of the end of the metal pipe. The wooden chest has at least one hole, indicating a successful fire. One of the juveniles placed a 12-gauge-shotgun slug in the pipe hoping to discharge it, but the round blew up, causing shrapnel to get lodged in the palm of his left hand, according to Gaffney.

The remaining ammunition was seized for destruction because the guardian of the juvenile is prohibited from possessing any gun ammunition.  

Gaffney said the guardian told deputies that the property was inherited from his grandfather and the ammunition was left in the shed.  He also claimed that he had no knowledge of what the juveniles were doing until the injury.

Child Protective Services was notified following the incident.