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article imageInfant fights for life after being accidentally shot in the head

By Megan Hamilton     Sep 27, 2014 in World
Saltsburg - A newborn infant who was accidentally shot in the head by a hunter's stray bullet is fighting for his life in the ICU at Children's Hospital in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. The infant was flown to the hospital and underwent surgery immediately.
Just five days old, the baby boy was shot in the head on Thursday evening while he was being held by his father, who was sitting on a couch, WTAE reports.
"Initial reports indicate the father heard a bang and felt the child's head snap," Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty told CBS Pittsburgh.
The bullet went through the baby's skull and exited through his eye socket, the District Attorney told WTAE.
It's believed that bullet came from a hunter's rifle as two men were across the street hunting deer on private property, investigators said. The two hunters had permission to be on the property and weren't doing anything wrong, the DA said. Both men turned over their weapons and ammunition and are cooperating with authorities.
While she couldn't refer specifically to this baby's case, Dr. Barbara Gaines said this little boy may have a long road to recovery.
"A five day-old is just learning how to become an air-breathing independent organism," she told WTAE. "It's only been separated from a placenta for five days. There can be issues related to immaturity of the heart and the lungs as well as immaturity as other vital structures."
Gaines is the director of Trauma and Injury Prevention at Children's Hospital, per CBS.
The hunters were apparently trying to manage the deer population, and the single round that wounded the infant is believed to have come from a .308 hunting rifle, CBS Pittsburgh reports.
"They were shooting at a deer," Dougherty told CBS. "It appears that one of the hunters may have missed high, the bullet then traveled into the residence."
The case is being considered a criminal investigation by State Police, but they say the shooting is being treated as accidental. Dougherty will determine whether or not charges will be filed.
The incident is also under investigation by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, per CBS.
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