Police: Stolen gun used in accidental shooting of 13-year-old

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EDGEWATER, Colo. -- Police believe they have tracked down at least one of dozens of handguns stolen during two gun shop burglaries in Littleton in June. Investigators said one of the stolen guns was used in the accidental shooting of a 13-year-old boy in Edgewater.

Edgewater police Chief John Mackey said the teen was accidentally shot in the leg and that four juveniles were present when the shooting occurred on an apartment balcony on July 14.

"This could have resulted in a homicide," Mackey said. "This could've resulted in a young man's death. This young man was very lucky. He had a through-and-through wound to his leg."

The teen is expected to recover. Mackey said the boy initially reported that he was the victim of an armed robbery, but investigators quickly realized that wasn't the case.

They determined the shooting to be accidental. And when they located the gun, they realized it was one of the dozens of handguns stolen in Littleton weeks earlier.

"So the fact that this gun ended up in a young man's hands here in Edgewater is very concerning," Mackey said.

Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said the Colorado Gun Broker store was burglarized on June 21 when at least 20 guns were stolen.

Less than 24 hours later, the Triple J Armory was burglarized, with at least 20 guns stolen. Investigators located a white van at West Mississippi Avenue and South Pecos Street in Denver shortly after that burglary and believe it is connected to the crime.

ATF is still investigating whether the two burglaries are connected. It's unclear which shop the gun used in the accidental shooting in Edgewater was stolen from.

At least two of the juveniles involved in that incident are facing charges. Mackey said police do not believe the juveniles' parents are involved. He said one boy reported receiving the gun from another local male.

Edgewater police are working with the Littleton Police Department and ATF agents to follow the trail to determine how the stolen gun ended up in Edgewater. Mackey hopes it leads to a break in the case.

"We want to get the rest of those guns off the streets before school starts again," he said.