OLYMPIA, Wash. - A woman and a child are recovering after they were shot during a party inside a home in rural Olympia.
The shooting happened Saturday night on Boulder Lane Southeast near Old Highway 99.
A 21-year-old Lacey man was taken into custody, facing charges of reckless endangerment.
“You should know better not to point a gun, a real gun, at a woman and a child,” said the baby’s mother Samantha Allen, who told KIRO 7 she was at work at the time of the shooting. “I feel like a horrible mother.”
Allen said the babysitter is her best friend. Her 1-year-old daughter, Alianah Beam, is expected to be OK but is scheduled to have a second surgery Monday morning.
“I’m a mad at her because she, as my best friend, she should’ve protected her more – went upstairs, or whatever, put her to sleep; but she’s still a victim too,” said Allen. “My daughter may never be able to walk the right way again.”
Six adults were drinking, smoking marijuana and, in at least one case, using ecstasy, authorities said. The adults started showing off tattoos, and that's when a man took off his holstered gun and handed it to another adult.
"He had one on his leg that he felt was a 'bad' tattoo that he wanted to show the rest of the group," said Thurston County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Rudloff, by telephone, "but he had to take his pants off in order to do that."
He says once the gun owner was done, he left the party for a moment. While he was gone, Stetson Michael Bird got the gun.
"And Stetson thought obviously it would be a good idea to take the gun out of his holster, start manipulating it," said Rudloff. "Showing the 20-year-old female how a firearm operates."
Rudloff says that is when Bird pulled the trigger. The bullet struck the woman and the 1-year-old girl she was babysitting.
Allen said the shooting happened at her home but she didn’t know about the party or the ecstasy.
"Nobody died as a result," said Rudloff. "And everybody seems to be like they will recover from their injuries."
He says the gun owner had the weapon legally but what he did was "dumb." He said it isn't illegal to hand a gun to someone with no license to have one.
"Washington is an open carry state," he said. "You don't need a concealed license. You only need a concealed license if you're carrying it concealed. But it's nonetheless tragic and horrific."
The victims were taken to different hospitals. The woman was shot in the pelvis, and the child's leg was injured. Both had surgery overnight and are expected to survive.
Allen believes Bird should face more serious charges, along with the gun owner, who she said is her neighbor.
“Something needs to be done,” said Allen. “If it doesn’t, it’s going to keep happening and somebody else’s baby might actually die from it and I don’t want that.”
Allen said her best friend is hospitalized in critical condition.
As for Bird, he could make a first court appearance on Tuesday.
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