Hopewell Boil Alert: School cancelled Monday; bottled water now available

3-year-old boy shoots twin brother

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HOPEWELL, Va. - A three-year-old child accidentally shot his twin brother using a gun left unattended in their home, according to Hopewell Police Chief John Koehane. The shooting happened in the Thomas Rolfe Court community about 10 a.m. Monday morning.

The child, who was shot in the backside, was taken to John Randolph Medical Center by a police officer who arrived on scene. The child has since been taken to VCU Medical Center for treatment.  The young boy remains in critical but stable condition at VCU Medical Center, after a .25 caliber bullet went through his bottom  and into his abdomen.

The other little boy was taken from the scene by an adult before police arrived. Police are still looking for the weapon used in the shooting.

Hopewell shooting 01

A maze of crime tape surrounded the playground at the housing project in Hopewell off 8th Street where the boy and his family live.  Police collected and bagged evidence Monday, impounded a car and recovered two guns.

And they tried to piece together what had happened.  What the child shot on the playground?  Or in an apartment?

"In the hood you hear one story but the real story isn't out yet," said Joe Marsh, who lives in the housing project.

Hopewell Police Chief John Keohane says several conflicting stories emerged in the immediate aftermath of the toddler’s shooting.  But he said there was one thing that was certain.  "There was a child that got his hands on a firearm and used it," said Keohane.

Police say a three-year-old playing with a gun accidentally shot his twin brother.  The boy who pulled the trigger also had injuries.  "We are not sure if the action of the .25 caught him on the hand as it recycled the round," said Keohane.

A spent .25 shell casing was found inside the apartment and police say that eliminated the playground as a crime scene.  Keohane said that put the focus squarely on the apartment unit.  "We recovered other evidence there and you can expect more charges," he said.

The mother of the twins didn't wait for paramedics and rushed her wounded toddler to nearby John Randolph.  Police say her boyfriend then dropped the other three-year-old at another girlfriend’s house.  A woman inside that house at Fourth and Poythress Streets said she had never seen that boy before.

"He was taking a potential witness. Even though they're only three, it's potentially obstruction of justice,” said CBS-6 legal analyst Todd Stone.  “You have a lot of issues at play."

Police say the main issue is a shooting that could've been prevented with proper storage of the weapon, noting the shooting that almost cost a young boy his life.

"It’s matter of inches and this whole thing could've changed,” said Keohane.  “It's disturbing."

Police say felony child neglect and obstruction of justice are two of the charges potentially on the table for the mom and boyfriend.  They also tell us Child Protective Services is involved in this case.


  • Gail

    Imagine that!! Yet another shooting in the low income housing projects!! If out politicians would quit paying this trash to breed & allowing them to sit around & do nothing but argue & fight amongst themselves then A LOT of this would stop!!If they had to go to work like the rest of us they wouldn’t have time to sit around & get into trouble!!

  • athynz

    What a shame. I hope the child is okay soon and they catch whoever shot him and prosecute him or her tot he fullest extent of the law.

    • Troll

      So now you don’t even read the headlines for information, but still make an ignorant comment. athynz is incredible.

    • Romero

      Troll has a point the article if you had bothered to read it said his twin brother accidentally shot him..they dont need to FIND anyone..they know who did it

      • athynz

        The one time I skim an article… yes I did misread it. I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong. What you got in the middle of is an ongoing pissing match between me and that cowardly stalker troll David.

  • Phil

    Wow! A lot of ignorance. I blame the parents for leaving a loaded firearm unsecured. Nobody else is to blame for that and that is what the story is, a toddler shooting another toddler.

  • John

    Amazing… Kickem out of public housing, cut off food stamps and take the kids away. They would be a lot safer and sounds like these so-called adults are not fit for raising kids.

  • sw

    Again another incident of incredibly stupid people being able to own weapons that should not. Until the government and the criminal justice system starts holding these parents or families accountable for these accidental shootings of children then it will never stop.

    • Romero

      actually that isnt true. I have witnessed a true gun accident before.. there was a run away gun on the c6 range while I was in the military..No one was hurt, but the gun accidentally discharged (by itself due to excessive shooting without letting the barrel cool) and it fired off approx 10 rounds before we managed to stop it, No one was hurt, but it was an accident since no one was even behind the gun at the time… but this wasnt an accident, this was carelessness on the part of the parents.. Never should a child get their hands on a gun in a house, there is no excuse ever that makes that scenario ok, or understandable.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.