A woman is speaking out after her eight-year-old grandson was shot in the stomach Tuesday night on the 4900 block of San Francisco in North St. Louis. St. Louis Metropolitan Police say a preliminary investigation revealed the injury was potentially self-inflicted and accidental.
The boy, Dominick Thomas, is expected to survive. His grandmother, Renaye Stepney, says he had surgery Tuesday night and was in the hospital recovering Wednesday.
Thomas is a second grader at Washington Montessori.
"Dominick is very athletic, loves running and playing basketball, football," Stepney said. "He's really, really smart in school."
Stepney says she and Thomas' parents were home at the time of the shooting and his six-year-old brother was in the same room as Thomas.
"Heard the shot," Stepney said. "I jumped up out of bed, ran into the living room, and they were standing there screaming."
She says she didn't know there was a gun in the house but later learned it was on a closet shelf.
"Not loaded but maybe perhaps it must have been one still in the chamber," she said.
The bullet went through his stomach.
"He said he feels about 60 percent better than yesterday, which I don't know how he came up with that percentage but that's what he said," Stepney said.
His family members know it could have been much worse.
"We're blessed," Stepney said. "He's blessed. We're all just happy he made it out okay."
His grandmother is now sharing a message about safety.
"Always know that there is a gun in your house and know that it is out of the reach of children," she said.
Police say the Child Abuse Unit is working to determine if charges will be filed.