BURNEY (AP/CBS13) — Shasta County authorities say a 2-year-old boy and his 4-year-old sister were shot by their 5-year-old brother after the children’s father left a sawed-off shotgun unattended.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Marc St. Clair says the boy, Toby Venia, was the most seriously hurt, with one of his legs nearly severed by the blast.
His sister, Zoe, suffered a thigh injury and pellet wounds to her upper body.
According to the sheriff’s office, the children’s father, 29-year-old Kevin Venia, left the 12-gauge shotgun on an ottoman while his three children played nearby at his home in Burney on Monday. Venia was playing with the shotgun in front of his children before he left it unattended, the sheriff’s office said.
The 5-year-old boy then picked up the shotgun and fired one round, hitting his younger brother and sister, the sheriff’s office said.
Venia was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment. He reportedly denied having the shotgun in the house but it was recovered nearby after a search by a Department of Fish and Game warden with a K-9.
Venia is being held on $500,000 bail and is expected to be in court Wednesday afternoon.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)