8-year-old hit by stray bullet in Garden Valley: ‘He won’t be the same’

The young victim was airlifted to Boise for treatment, but is now recovering at home.

GARDEN VALLEY, Idaho — A boy is recovering after being shot by a stray bullet in Boise County Friday night.

According to the Boise County Sheriff’s Office, the shooting happened at 11 p.m. Friday at a home in Garden Valley. The bullet struck the 8-year-old in the hand and neck, the sheriff said.

The injured child, LJ, was airlifted to a hospital in Boise for treatment, and later released to recover at home. The boy’s wound is not believed to be life-threatening.

“He won’t be the same, but he’s doing alright right now,”  Jason Petrick, LJ’s father said. “His mother told me the other day that right now he’s scared of getting shot again and that really hurts.”

Deputies investigated the shooting with help from Idaho State Police, and ultimately charged 41-year-old Brandon L. Nelson with injuring another by careless handling and discharge of firearms. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to six months in jail.

Nelson is the neighbor of LJ’s father. Petrick told KTVB, he would like to see a more reasonable charge for Nelson and that he be held responsible.

“If you’re drunk and driving a car, no matter what the circumstances are, if you kill someone you’re going to prison for a long time, if you’re drunk and playing with a gun you’ve taken pretty much the same responsibility, you’ve taken your life and other people’s life into your hands,” Petrick said.

KTVB reached out to Boise County Sheriff’s to find out if Nelson was under the influence when this happened. In a statement, the Sheriff said, “we are not releasing anymore information pending the outcome of the investigation.” 

Further charges are being reviewed in the case, and the investigation is ongoing. 

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