Jemison man accidentally shoots wife and child while reloading handgun

Published 2:34 pm Monday, September 16, 2013

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An accidental shooting late Saturday night resulted in a 25-year-old Jemison female and her 3-year-old child being hospitalized in Birmingham from a single gunshot wound.

Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis said authorities responded to a call at 10 p.m. Sept. 14 from the 900 block of County Road 178 from a subject advising authorities he had shot his wife and child with a gun.

Davis said when the caller told the 911 dispatcher he had shot his wife and child with a gun, the caller’s cell phone went dead.

Once on the scene, Davis said officers from the Jemison Police Department along with deputies from the sheriff’s department and an off-duty police officer who lives in the neighborhood found the female and her 3-year-old child suffering from a single gunshot wound after the male, 27, accidentally shot them while cleaning his gun in the family living room.

The female was airlifted to a Birmingham hospital and the child was transported by ground to a Birmingham hospital.

“Both victims were conscious and alert when they left the scene,” Davis said. “They didn’t appear to have life threatening injuries.”

Davis said after two investigators from the Criminal Investigation Unit with the sheriff’s department responded to the scene, they determined that Charles Martin accidentally shot Debra Martin and their child.

“He [Charles] told authorities that he had just completed cleaning his handgun, was in the process of reloading it and had an accidental discharge of the gun,” Davis said. “A single bullet struck the wife, exited the wife and struck the child. One shot was fired and that one shot struck both the wife and the child.”

Davis said due to the close proximity of Debra and the child to Charles, the bullet was able to hit both mother and child.

Although the case is still pending, Davis said no arrests were made due to investigators determining that Charles Martin shot the two by accident.

“The family was very lucky that night that the situation did not turn out much worse than it did,” Davis said. “I would stress the importance of gun safety so accidents like these don’t happen.”