Two arrests have been made after a 7-year-old at Moss Bluff Elementary School was accidentally shot when a child brought a gun to school. Authorities say the gun fell out of the child’s backpack, and another child picked it up causing it to fire, hitting another student.
Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso says the brother and father of the child who had the gun have been arrested.
“The father gives the 17-year-old a gun for protection, and lets him keep it in an unsecure location in the house,” Mancuso said.
The father, 50-year-old Michael Lane Dugas, is charged with negligent injury and improper supervision of a minor. The brother, 17-year-old Jake Adam Dugas, is charged with negligent injury. Mancuso says the gun was kept just four feet off the ground in a shoe organizer hanging on the wall of the bedroom the boys shared.
“When there was a gun safe just feet away in a closet, a fireproof gun safe that could have been used to secure this weapon. So it is our opinion that a crime was committed,” Mancuso said.
Mancuso says the actions of the child’s father and brother were the cause of the accident, not the young boy. Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier says gun owners must store their weapons out of the reach of small children. He says we’re very lucky that the child injured in this case was not killed.
“We have a young child that could have easily lost his life, who’s upset a number a families, everybody at the school. We need to be sure that we secure firearms in places that cannot be accessed by children,” DeRosier said.
The child who was shot underwent surgery Monday and continues to recover.