Seeing the child bleed, it was assumed that he had injured himself while playing. However, scans revealed a small caliber bullet lodged in his head.
A 2-year-old boy was struck by a stray bullet while playing outside his Utah daycare. According to a Spanish Fork Police statement, the toddler was “bleeding from the face” and it was assumed he fell while playing with other children in Leap Ahead Daycare’s “vinyl-fenced area.” According to officials, the daycare notified the parents of the 2-year-old child who responded and took their child to the hospital for treatment. At the hospital, doctors discovered through scans that the child had a small caliber bullet lodged in his head. The child was then taken to Primary Children's Hospital for treatment and is currently in stable condition.
Detectives said a man is cooperating with the investigation after a child was struck in the head by a stray bullet while outside a Spanish Fork daycare.— ABC4 News (@abc4utah) May 24, 2023
“Initially, we thought he just had tripped and hit his head,” said Lane Mugleston, who owns the daycare with his wife, per CNN affiliate KSLTV. He added that he still feels like "I’m in shock. We are absolutely surprised. We are dumbfounded that this would happen in Spanish Fork.”
Lt. Cory Slaymaker with the Spanish Fork Police Department said several children were playing in a fenced daycare area located near 2000 North and 300 West on Monday when the incident took place. Officials discovered a small hole in the vinyl fence surrounding the daycare center that may have been caused by the bullet that hit the child.
The child is still at Primary Children’s Medical Center in stable condition and improving. Mugleston told the outlet, “The doctors are monitoring him, and they said that his vitals are good and expect a full recovery. So they think that that’s a blessing.” Doctors have decided to leave the bullet in the child's head as they worry about causing further damage if the boy undergoes surgery to remove it.
On Wednesday the Spanish Fork Police Department announced they located a person of interest who shot a .22 caliber air rifle near a fenced daycare located in West Spanish Fork, Utah, striking a toddler. https://t.co/1w5My2cXuM— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) May 24, 2023
Officers have identified a man shooting birds with a .22 caliber air rifle near the daycare. It is believed that the man who was reportedly shooting birds in the field west of the daycare with the air rifle may have missed its target sending a pellet to strike the two-year-old toddler at the daycare.
“We feel like this was more of an accident, and the person that probably did it doesn’t even know that they did it," police said. The man is currently cooperating with the police, and his name will not be released until the investigation is closed and prosecutors decide whether to file formal charges upon review. “We do not believe that this was a targeted incident,” Slaymaker said. The department also provided an update on the child's condition writing, "The child is still at Primary Children’s Medical Center in stable condition and improving."
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