A Los Angeles County Probation Department officer is not being criminally charged after a 4-year-old sustained a minor hand injury in a shooting accident, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials.
A 4-year-old boy with a small injury to his finger was taken to the hospital by his father around 8:40 a.m. June 6, according to station officials.
“The child sustained a gunshot wound to his finger, determined to be non-life-threatening,” wrote Natalie Arriaga, who was the SCV Sheriff’s Station spokeswoman at the time. “Deputies conducted an investigation and determined an accidental discharge had taken place.”
Sgt. Keith Greene of the station’s Robbery/Assault Team said Friday the investigation into the incident was complete, and detectives determined the incident did not rise to the level of a criminal violation due to section 25105 of the California Penal Code.
That statute states section 25100 — the section pertaining to criminal negligent storage of a firearm — does not apply if “the firearm is carried on the person or within close enough proximity thereto that the individual can readily retrieve and use the firearm as if carried on the person.”
Greene declined to state the specifics of the circumstances regarding how the child obtained the weapon. Station officials indicated initially the incident took place in a vehicle. He also confirmed the child’s injury was not serious and did not require stitches.
A station official previously 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. A Probation Department official declined to comment on the status of the department’s investigation.
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.
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.”
Greene said detectives looked at a number of possible statutes but none were deemed applicable as a result of the station’s investigation.