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Manchester 5-year-old accidentally shoots himself

MANCHESTER — A 5-year-old boy was recovering at Elliot Hospital on Saturday after he accidentally shot himself with a handgun kept in a bedroom, police said.

The boy shot himself while Sonday Bishop, the gun’s owner who lives with the boy’s mother, and the woman were home about 2:30 a.m. in a third-floor apartment at 420 Spruce St., police said.

"Panic," Bishop said of his reaction to the incident. "Not something you want to happen or expect."

Bishop referred to the boy as his son, De’Jon. Police, however, said Bishop is not the boy’s biological father.

"We just left the hospital. He’s doing well," Bishop said upon returning to his apartment building.

Bishop said the boy was shot in the abdomen, but police said it was more in the hip area.

Bishop, who seemed reluctant to talk to a reporter about the shooting, said the boy knew where the gun was kept.

"He pretty much sees where I’m putting it," Bishop said.

Manchester police Detective Richard Nanan said it was too early in the investigation to determine whether Bishop would face any criminal charges.

The gun was not secured in a lock box, Nanan said, and he advised handgun owners with children in the house to get a trigger lock and store the firearm in a lock box or safe.

Police seized a .22-caliber handgun from the apartment.

Police and landlord John Sinclair identified the boy’s mother as Charmaine Beard.

Sinclair said Bishop had lived in the three-bedroom apartment for about a year, initially with his brother. Other people moved in later, including the boy and his mother.

Sinclair said he didn’t hear any shots, but looked out his window during the night.

"The place was surrounded with cops," he said. Sinclair said he saw a child on the lawn and thought he was sick.

"I didn’t even know the guy had a firearm upstairs," Sinclair said.


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