South Sound News

Mom accidentally shot 9-year-old son in car seat while fleeing coyotes

File photo of an ambulance.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — A 9-year-old Wilkeson boy was accidentally shot by his mother after she threw a rifle into the car while fleeing a pack of coyotes.

The mother, her boyfriend and her two sons were having a barbecue near Coplay Lake Sunday when they heard coyotes about 7:30 p.m.

Fearing how close the coyotes sounded, the mother and her boyfriend decided to leave.

The mother loaded her two sons into their car seats and began moving the rest of their belongings into the back of a Nissan Pathfinder.

“While loading the car, (the mother) grabbed the rifle and threw it into the back storage area of the vehicle,” Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. She “heard the rifle discharge and (the boy) began screaming.”

The 9-year-old had been shot in the back.

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The mother called 911 and sat with her injured son in the backseat while her boyfriend drove them to a nearby fire station.

Deputies met them at the fire station and took the .22 caliber rifle from the Pathfinder while paramedics tended to the boy.

The boy underwent surgery and is listed in serious condition. He is expected to survive.

Deputies noted they could smell alcohol on both adults.