Condition of 7-year-old shot in head at friend’s home in Aurora improves

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AURORA, Colo. -- A 7-year-old Aurora boy showed signs of improvement Friday despite suffering a gunshot wound to the head while playing with friends on Thursday afternoon.

Aurora police said the boy, who suffered life-threatening injuries, has been upgraded to serious but stable condition after undergoing successful surgery at Children's Hospital Colorado.

Detectives began searching the home on Friday afternoon. They say the shooting appears to be an accident, which took place while six kids, ages 7-12, were inside the home without adult supervision. They have yet to release information about the gun, how the kids got it or who fired the shot.

“Still unbelievable that it even happened,” said neighbor Tabitha Christy.

She was home watching her kids Thursday afternoon when a 12-year-old boy next door came running. “He was in a panic, he was trying to talk, he could barely talk, and he was just like … something about his friend getting shot.”

Tabitha had her father-in-law call 911 as she ran into the home. That’s where she saw a 7-year-old boy she didn’t know, shot in the head.

“I was shaken and started tearing up. I checked his pulse to see if he was still alive and he was barely breathing. His eyes started to turn back. I had to leave the house because my girls were following me and I didn’t want them to see.”

Detectives continued to question the children Friday who witnessed the shooting. The questioning took place while parents were with them.

“The little boy came and said it was his dad’s gun and that somebody got into it, is what he told me,” Christy said.

Just a few days ago, Aurora police warned parents on their Facebook page about the importance of locking up guns, especially during the summer months. It’s a message they posted again Friday.

“When it comes to something that dangerous they don’t know it’s not a toy, they don’t know that they can’t play with it. They’re curious, so people need to lock up their guns, They need to put them away,” Christy said.

Though detectives are still trying to determine if a crime was committed, there’s no question there’s a victim.

There is no law in Aurora that guns have to be locked up, though in this case, an adult could be charged with neglect if it's found they were not storing the gun properly with children in the house.

“I just thank God that he’s still trying to make it because when I seen him he was alive,” Christy said. “I pray for the parents. I can’t imagine if it was my kid.”

Learn more about different firearm safety solutions that are available to gun owners.