Child accidentally shot by brother while playing in backyard of Colerain Township home

COLERAIN TWP., Ohio -- A  7-year-old Colerain boy is in stable condition after surgeons removed a bullet from his back Monday morning at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Police say the boy was shot at about 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon by his older brother as the two played with a loaded handgun in their grandparents' backyard on Impala Drive.

"I was in my bedroom and I heard a gunshot very close to my house,” recalled Terri Cutter who lives next door. “And then, right after the gunshot, I heard kids crying so I ran out back and I only seen the two little kids running in their door."

The injured 7-year-old was talking and responsive before he was transported to Children's Sunday. Medical staff described his injuries as non-life-threatening and he's expected to be OK.

On Monday, Colerain police were still trying to determine who owned the handgun. Investigators say the gun did not belong to the boys' grandparents.

Police identified the other brother in the incident as a 10-year-old. Officers questioned him after the incident and Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services eventually returned him to his grandparents.

HCJFS said they planned on returning to the house for further questioning Monday.

Records show the social service agency has been to the house on Impala drive in the past.

In 2009, HCJFS opened an investigation at the address when someone tipped them off to unclean living conditions at the residence. The house was cleaned up and the grandchildren were returned. Later, records indicate, the boys were given to their mother.

Then in 2012, the grandparents received full guardianship of the two boys.

Police have not filed charges in Sunday's incident, as they continue to collect evidence and try to figure out how the gun ended up in the boys' hands.

This did not mean charges might not be filed in the future, a Colerain officer on the scene said Sunday.

WCPO web editor Casey Wheldon and WCPO reporter John Genovese contributed to this report.

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