CLINTON, N.C. (WNCN) – A 10-year-old Sampson County boy accidentally shot himself in the face Thursday night after his stepfather gave him access to the firearm, authorities said.
Jeffrey Lee Newton, Jr., 31, of 60 Maddie Lane in Harrells, is charged with permitting a child to have access/use of a firearm as well as contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
On Thursday following the shooting, Newton told deputies he was walking with the child down Belvin-Maynard Road when he heard a shot and then saw his boy fall, authorities said.
Sampson County Sheriff’s Captain Eric Pope said Newton fabricated a story about the child being struck by a stray bullet as they walked along the road.
Pope said evidence indicates the shooting happened inside Newton’s home on Maddie Lane, near Belvin-Maynard Road.
The child was put in a private vehicle headed to the hospital before being stopped by a deputy.
“A responding deputy intercepted the vehicle carrying the child and started rendering first aid, until Sampson County EMS arrived on the scene,” the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a news release.
That deputy then drove the ambulance to a helicopter landing zone while the paramedics tended to the child.
The boy was airlifted to UNC Hospital and where he is listed in stable condition.
Friday morning, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said the boy accidentally shot himself in the face and Newton allowed the 10-year-old to have access to the firearm.
Newton is being held in the Sampson County Detention Center under a $5,000 bond.
The investigation is ongoing and more charges may be filed, authorities said.