Fort Worth

4-year-old grabbed gun, shot himself in leg. Father accused of making weapon available

Joshua Plumlee of Mineral Wells faces a charge of making a firearm accessible to a child/serious bodily injury after his young son accidentally shot himself last month in Parker County.
Joshua Plumlee of Mineral Wells faces a charge of making a firearm accessible to a child/serious bodily injury after his young son accidentally shot himself last month in Parker County.

A 35-year-old Mineral Wells man is accused of making a handgun accessible to his 4-year-old son, who used it to accidentally shoot himself in the leg last month.

The boy suffered a gunshot wound to his left calf in the incident at a residence in Millsap on April 21.

His father could not explain to Parker County sheriff's deputies why the handgun was unsecured and accessible to the child.

The father was identified as Joshua Plumlee of Mineral Wells. He was arrested Tuesday.

Deputies began an investigation the morning of the shooting after being called to the Palo Pinto General Hospital emergency room.

Plumlee told deputies he and his children were in a bedroom where he had left a .36-caliber revolver in a holster on a nightstand.

The father told deputies he turned his back and the 4-year-old got out of bed, grabbed the handgun and crawled back onto the bed, where he fired it.

Plumlee turned around and saw blood coming from his son's leg. A 6-year-old child in the bedroom was not injured. The mother was in the shower at the time.

Immediately, the father drove his son to the hospital, the sheriff's office said.

At the hospital, Plumlee told investigators he had allowed both children to handle the weapon and showed them how to operate it as a form of gun safety.

No charges will be filed against the mother, Sheriff Larry Fowler said in a news release.

Under state law, when a child is injured from an unsecured weapon because of a parent's negligence, authorities must wait at least seven days before making an arrest, Fowler said.

"We are fortunate that the bullet missed all major arteries, and there was no broken bones," Fowler said in the news release. "Proper gun safety education is essential when owning any weapon but is particularly crucial in homes where children reside."

Plumlee remained in the Parker County Jail on Wednesday with bail set at $2,000.

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Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763,@mingoramirezjr.
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