SETH, W.Va. -- Police in Boone County said a 7-year-old boy was in critical condition Wednesday after he was shot near his heart with a pellet rifle.
At about 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, another boy fired the pellet rifle at the victim while at a residence in Seth, said Boone County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Chad Barker.
Paramedics rushed the boy to CAMC General Hospital with the near-fatal wound. He was in the intensive care unit Wednesday evening. Doctors are optimistic about his recovery, Barker said.
The shooting remains under investigation, but deputies believe it was an accident.
Barker took the opportunity to warn parents on the dangers of pellet weapons.
"When I was growing up, we had BB guns and if you got shot, they didn't even break the skin," he said. "Now they are making these high-velocity guns that are able to shoot anywhere from 1,000 to 1,400 feet per second."
Barker compared it to a standard handgun that can fire ammunition that travels up to 900 feet per second.
"These pellet rifles are shooting as fast, if not faster, than a lot of your average firearms," he said. "They can be deadly, and it's nothing children should be playing with."