9-year-old accidently shot in Decatur home in induced coma

DECATUR, Ohio - Residents of a small Brown County community plan to gather Wednesday evening to pray for the recovery a 9-year-old boy accidently shot in the head at his home Monday afternoon.

Sebastian Swartz remains in critical condition in an induced coma at Cincinnati Children's Hospital after undergoing surgery for injuries sustained while playing with his father's 9 mm handgun Monday afternoon.

The vigil for Sebastian Swartz will be held at Decatur Park at 6 p.m. The park is located off of State Highway 125, or Main Street, that runs through the center of Decatur. Donations are also being collect to alleviate the family's medical expenses at the Corner Mart, 10192 Ohio 125, located just down the street from the Swartz home.

According to the most recent reports from family friends, Sebastian Swartz is breathing on his own and physically responding to touch.

Brown County Sheriff Dwayne Wenniger reported on Tuesday that the shooting was the result of Swartz finding his father's handgun unsecured in his parents' bedroom while his father, Chris Swartz, was at work and his mother, Shanna, was in the living room of their house located at 10198 State Route 125.

When Sebastian Swartz's sister, whose name and age have not yet been released, found Sebastian playing with the gun, a struggle ensued and the gun was discharged, Wenninger added.

Wenninger said in more than 20 years in law enforcement he has only dealt with seven or eight accidental shootings, add such tragic incidents are preventable. The Brown County Sheriff's Office, along with most police departments, offer gun locks for free to anyone who requests one.

Evidence collected from the Swartz home will be turned over to the county prosecutor's office to determine whether or not a charge such as child endangerment will be filed against the family, Wenninger said.

9 On Your Side will update this story when more information becomes available.


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