Deputies investigating shooting involving 4-year-old, off-duty probation officer 

The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita.
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An off-duty L.A. County Probation Department officer was involved in an accidental shooting Monday that resulted in a child being sent to the hospital for an injured finger, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and Probation officials. 

Station deputies learned of the shooting, which happened around 8:40 a.m., after a 4-year-old boy was brought to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital with an injury to his finger, according to an email from Deputy Natalie Arriaga, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station. 

“The child sustained a gunshot wound to his finger, determined to be non-life-threatening,” Arriaga wrote. “Deputies conducted an investigation and determined an accidental discharge had taken place.” 

The initial report indicated the shooting took place in a car, according to station officials. 

“No arrest was made. However, a report was taken pending further investigation,” according to Arriaga. “All parties were cooperative with deputies.” 

Arriaga said the incident will be investigated by station detectives and that the person was not arrested “pending further investigation to confirm it was accidental and not an act of negligence.” 

The Sheriff’s Department declined to release the officer’s name, citing LASD policy 3-09/090.30: “disclosure of such information would endanger the successful completion of an investigation.” 

Arriaga also wrote that L.A. County Probation will be conducting its own internal investigation as well. 

California Penal Code Section 25100 notes there are three circumstances that must exist for a “criminal storage of a firearm in the third degree” charge: the person has a firearm in their custody; and the person reasonably should know that a child is likely to gain access to the firearm without parental consent, “unless reasonable action is taken by the person to secure the firearm against access by the child.” 

A Probation Department official declined to comment Monday evening. 

The employee was off-duty and the officer was not carrying a department-issued handgun, according to an official familiar with the situation who spoke on background, adding only a very small percentage of Probation Department officers are armed. 

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