A 7-year-old boy was shot in the leg by a St. Louis man Tuesday evening when he and two other boys were caught allegedly burglarizing his home, according to reports.
The resident, 23, told police he heard banging and glass breaking from the back of his home at around 6 p.m. He found the three boys climbing through a window they had allegedly broken and fired at them with his gun, police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
One of the boys, 12, was hit in his wrist with a bullet fragment. The third boy, also 12, was uninjured, the outlet reported.
“Fearing for his safety, the victim fired one shot from his personal weapon,” police told the paper.
The two boys who were injured where hospitalized in stable conditions.
Investigators spent Tuesday night trying to figure out how the shooting took place, originally believed the boys might have been playing with a gun until the resident came forward, according to the outlet.
Some residents were shocked by the young age of the boys police identified.
“They’re not in school [because of coronavirus-related closures] and that gives them more opportunity to get in trouble,” Rev. Frederick Raedeke, of the nearby Zion Lutheran Church, told the paper. “I feel badly about the whole school thing. Kids ought to be in school.”