Commonwealth's attorney investigating possible charges for accidental shooting of 10-year-old Roanoke boy

Published: May. 27, 2016 at 6:48 PM EDT
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Roanoke's Commonwealth's Attorney Don Caldwell and his team are reviewing whether any possible charges will be filed in the accidental shooting that left an 11-year-old Roanoke boy dead.

The 11-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy were playing with a gun they found in the home when it happened.

Caldwell said he can't share many details at this point, and that is very similar to what police are saying. We still don't know a lot about what happened Thursday afternoon, and no one has been charged.

Police will not be identifying the victim because he is underage, but neighbors and friends told WDBJ7 on scene Thursday the boy was a happy kid with a big smile.

It's against Virginia law to recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured gun out that could endanger a child. Caldwell said he has not been fully briefed on all the details yet, but has begun looking into what charges would apply.

"We actually started doing that (Thursday), but the problem is when you review the law you're just getting a general understanding of what's out there and you really can't get into a serious discussion until you know what the facts are," Caldwell said. "Any criminal case is always a blend or a weave of the law and the facts."

Caldwell expects to be briefed on the full facts of the case early next week. He said he's prosecuted adults in this type of situation a handful of times before.

Police have filed numerous warrants in the case and as of Friday, one has been made public. The warrant details a search of the home and contains few details, but does show that officers recovered a pistol, a cartridge case, bullets and a phone.

The search warrant was for DNA, blood, fingerprints and weapons among other items.

WDBJ7 did talk about a dozen people Friday about gun safety lessons for younger children as a part of summer or day camp curriculum. Only one of them said it's something they cover, but that individual did not want to comment on this story.