8-year-old boy accidentally shoots mother at baseball game, gun owner charged

The boy found a loaded gun while playing inside an antique World War II jeep on display at an event honoring veterans.

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By Minyvonne Burke

A Tennessee mother was hospitalized in critical condition after her 8-year-old son accidentally shot her at a college baseball game, police said.

Charles McFarland was arrested after an 8-year-old child accidentally shot his mother with a gun belonging to McFarland in Tennessee on May 14, 2019.Millington Tennessee Police Department

The gun's owner, Charles McFarland Jr., was arrested and faces charges of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.

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The mother and son were at the annual Babe Howard Classic game Tuesday night at the U.S.A Baseball Stadium in Millington, about 30 minutes north of Memphis, when the boy found a loaded gun while playing inside an antique World War II jeep belonging to McFarland, authorities said.

The jeep had been on display as part of a celebration the stadium holds for veterans, the Millington Police Department said in a press release.

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Thinking the gun was a toy, the child pulled the trigger, shooting his mother. She was taken to a Memphis hospital in critical condition, police said.

Authorities said at a news conference Tuesday that the mother, who is not being named, was conscious when she left the stadium.

A bond has not been set for McFarland, 76.

"Secure your weapons," Millington Police Chief Mark Dunbar said. "Everybody's got a right to carry, if they got a carry permit, but you need to use common sense and secure your weapons."

The game between the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee at Martin was suspended because of the shooting.