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10-Month-Old Almost Shot By High-Powered Rifle

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) – Bloomington police say it is a miracle that a 10-month-old boy was not killed after a round from a high-powered rifle hit his crib, missing his head by inches.

Ten-month-old Charlie Sewell was asleep when a man visiting the home next door accidentally discharged a semi-automatic rifle.

The round went through the neighbor's home, through the walls of the Sewell's home, through Charlie's stuffed animals, hit his crib and landed in the carpet.

"It didn't dawn on us that it penetrated the house," Erik Sewell said.

The Sewell family woke at midnight to find Daniel Larson at their front door telling them he had accidentally fired a high-powered rifle into their house.

"My finger slipped down and discharged the weapon," Larson said.

The Sewells called Bloomington Police, who discovered the devastating trajectory of the round.

"I came in here [the nursery] and the cops where in here. And I said, 'What is all this white stuff?' And they said that the bunny had been hit," Carin Sewell said.

The round hit Charlie's basket of stuffed animals and then hit his crib, just inches from his head.

An officer found the bullet buried in the carpet.

"He [the officer] looked at me and said this is nothing short of a miracle that he is alive," Carin Sewell said.

The Sewell's shock then dissolved into horror at how close a call this was.

"All I have been doing is praying and thanking God, and crying, since this happened last night. We're so lucky to have him here today," Carin Sewell said.

The emotion is shared by the 23-year-old gun enthusiast, Larson.

"I have little siblings. I can't even imagine," Larson said. "There is no excuse for it. I shouldn't have had the weapon pointed at anywhere with anyone inside. I am so sorry."

The Sewell's are speaking out because they do not believe high-powered weapons should be allowed in residential neighborhoods.

"I can't imagine the parents that go through that and don't get to hold their baby," Carin Sewell said.

Larson's semi-automatic rifle was legally registered.

Police found no evidence that drugs or alcohol were involved.

The accidental discharge happened inside the neighbor's home, not outside.

As a result of all these factors he is likely facing a misdemeanor charge of reckless discharge of a firearm which is punishable by 90 days in jail and or a $1,000 fine.

Both Larson and the Sewells say they would like to meet after a little time has passed. Carin Sewell says the fact that Larson is remorseful does help but it also doesn't change how close that round came to hitting little Charlie.


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