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DONIPHAN, MO (KTVI)– The parents of an eight year old boy from Doniphan, Missouri are spending anxious hours at his bedside at St. Louis Children’s Hospital this week.  Doctors are monitoring Xander Crews’ condition closely.  Tuesday he was accidentally shot in the back of his head by a pellet from an air gun.

Crews and his 13 year old brother were shooting at tin cans on their backyard fence Tuesday when the brother’s pellet gun discharged as Xander ran in front of him.  The projectile fractured a portion of the child’s skull but did not enter his brain.  He had to be airlifted to St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

“He’s in critical condition,” explained his Xander’s father, Bobby Crews as he choked back tears.  “They don’t want him to move because if he moves he could paralyze himself.”

Thursday family members gathered at the hospital waiting to find out of the child would undergo surgery to relieve pressure on his brain caused by swelling near the gun shot wound.

Both parents want to urge other families to closely supervise youngsters using guns.  The injured child’s mother, Linda Gill was inside her house at the time of the accident.  The boy’s father lives three hours away.

“I just want to get this out to tell everybody that a BB gun is not a play toy,” Bobby Crews said.  “It’s something serious and you can lose.. I almost lost my boy and I don’t know what I would do if I did.  It’s hard.”

Ms Gill said her father tested the pellet gun and found the safety on the gun was not working properly.  Both boys had received air guns for Christmas and had been trained by relatives in gun safety.

Children’s Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Charles Eldridge echoed the parents’ warning.  “Unfortunately far too frequently especially during the summer time we’ll see a fair number of gun shot victims in the pediatric patient population here.”
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