A county official from Texas has been charged after he accidentally shot his 12-year-old grandson while officiating a wedding in Nebraska, according to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office .
Michael Gardner, 62, from Odessa, Texas shot a blank round from a 1860 Pietta-model revolver into the air because he wanted to start his nephew’s wedding “with a bang” and got the guests’ attention. The ceremony started late because “somebody forgot the rings” and guests were spread out, Chief Deputy Ben Houchin explained at a press conference.
“When he decided to cock back the hammer of this revolver, it slipped and it shot his grandson in the left shoulder, causing an injury,” Houchin said.
The blank round reportedly contained black powder inside the casing with glue. Officials believe it was the glue that injured the boy. The child was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The wedding went on despite the shooting with Gardner officiating the ceremony.
Gardner, a Republican official who serves as commissioner in Ector County, Texas, turned himself in after the shooting. He was charged with felony child abuse committed negligently and resulting in serious bodily injury, according to the Washington Post. He was released on $10,000 bond.
Authorities do not believe Gardner intended to hurt his grandson or that alcohol was involved.
“It’s just kind of neglectful to take a gun out that has blanks and fire it amongst people,” Houchin added. “Playing with firearms, no matter what, even if they’re blanks, bad things can certainly happen.”