THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
KAMLOOPS, British Columbia -- A 6-year-old boy apparently shot and
wounded his father by accident on a hunting trip, and the father may
be charged with carelessness, Royal Canadian Mounted Police say.
The 43-year-old father has been listed in stable condition since
Sunday, when he was shot in the back with a .22-caliber rifle near
this southern British Columbia interior town.
The family said Thursday through a spokeswoman the man is an
experienced hunter who is extremely cautious about firearms. She also
said the boy had been around guns since he was two, had gone to a
shooting range several times and had been taught how to handle a rifle
Relatives are upset that police questioned the boy for several
hours without an adult present, the spokeswoman added.
The fact that the man was shot in the back indicates the boy may
not have been supervised, and if so that could lead to charges against
the father, police Sgt. Kelly Auld said.
"We're looking at the possibility of charges against the father as
he was the responsible license holder," Auld said. "He would be
charged with careless use of a firearm."
The child shouldn't have been hunting because the age limit is 10,
even with adult supervision, conservation officer Kelly Dahl said.
For children to hunt legally, a parent or guardian must sign an
acknowledgment taking responsibility for the young person and "even
then, if a 10-year-old wanders off the trail unsupervised, the parent
or guardian is breaking the law," Dahl said.
Auld said the boy's mother was not present when officers talked to
the boy because she couldn't be located immediately, adding that while
having an adult present is common practice it's not legally required.
"He's too young to prosecute so he was interviewed as a witness,"