Three children have accused their step-father of shooting them with a BB gun and sheriff’s deputies have asked the Graham County Attorney’s Office to review the case for possible felony charges.
According to GCSO records, a man called the sheriff’s office on April 18 after three of his four children came home from the Gila Box and told him their step-father had shot them in the legs with a rifle BB gun while at the river.
The children, who are 10, 11 and 13, gave separate interviews to a deputy.
The 11-year-old told the deputy his stepfather shot all three of them. The 10-year-old told the deputy she got shot in the leg and suspected her stepfather had shot her. The 13-year-old said her stepfather shot her and her brother and while she suspected he shot her sister, she didn’t see it, the report stated.
The 13-year-old said after her sister was shot, she began to cry and their stepfather told them the BB gun didn’t “hurt that bad” and shot himself with it. She also said he told them “it was a joke and not a big deal.” He then told her he was going to shoot her and did so after she began running, according to the report.
The deputy saw red welts on the girls’ legs and photos of the welts on one of the children’s cell phones as well.
When interviewed, the stepfather said the 10-year-old got shot while the children were shooting targets and made a big “fuss” about it, according to the report. He said he shot himself to make sure it wasn’t going to hurt.
Both the stepfather and the mother denied they shot the kids and the mother “advised it must have been just an accident with the kids,” the report stated.
In addition to referring the case to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, Undersheriff Jeff McCormies said the case was sent to the county attorney’s office.
The stepfather could be charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault.