9-year-old Albany boy finds gun, shoots self

Posted at: 07/22/2013 11:11 PM | Updated at: 07/22/2013 11:24 PM
By: Dan Levy

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ALBANY - An Albany grandmother says she's blessed to still be able to hug her 9-year-old grandson after the child accidentally shot himself over the weekend with a loaded handgun he found in a neighborhood backyard.

"I heard the shot but it sounded like a firecracker," said Janet Wilburn, relaxing in a lawn chair Monday afternoon at the end of her driveway on Orange Street. "He said he found that gun in a flowerpot."

Wilburn's grandson, Anthony Chaney, Jr., found the gun around 6:15 p.m. Saturday inside a cluttered, fenced-in backyard on Orange Street, picked it up, pulled the trigger and wound up with a bullet hole through his left palm.

"I wouldn't want to say he was playing with it, but he handled it, which is certainly very dangerous," said Albany police spokesman Steve Smith.

When the inevitable happened, Anthony was left with a bloody wound. Family members drove him to Albany Medical Center for treatment.

"He was afraid," Wilburn said. "He was saying somebody shot him. He was not crying. He didn't act like he was shot, but there was so much blood."

"Sometimes weapons are discarded in yards," Smith said. "Whether they be from suspects or perpetrators or they're placed there for the purpose of hiding."

After Anthony pulled the trigger, the gun fell to the ground and during the ensuing commotion, with everyone concerned about Anthony, they forgot about the gun. By the time police got there, someone had picked it up, and that means the weapon is still out on the streets.

"I'm sorry they did not find that gun," Wilburn said. "I just pray, if there's any more guns like that in the neighborhood, that an adult will find it and turn it in."

The child's father, Anthony Chaney. Sr., says his son is doing "just fine" and the family expects a full recovery.

In the meantime, Albany police are continuing their investigation into the matter. Their chief concern is the whereabouts of the weapon.





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