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Boy, 3, OK after dad's rifle discharge leaves him wounded

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:29 a.m. HST, Feb 25, 2013

The 3-year-old boy who was injured by bullet fragments when his father accidentally fired a rifle was released from the hospital Saturday evening and is in good condition, his father said.

Marwin Juan said Sunday the close call has taught him a lot.

“It really changed my perspective on my guns now,” said Juan, who has been collecting firearms since he was 18. “I’m seriously going to sell some of my guns.”

The 40-year-old Salt Lake man was clearing his AR-15 early Saturday morning when the rifle went off. A round hit the ceiling, and fragments of the bullet grazed the boy's shoulder. 

The firearm was open, no round was visible from the side view and no ammunition magazine was attached, he said.

He said he was distraught when he told the Star-Advertiser on Saturday, “You have to pull the trigger to clear the gun.” He said he meant the latch should be pulled multiple times to make sure the chamber is clear. 

The final step is to pull the trigger, he said.

After the incident, he said, he was worried his son would be afraid of him.

Instead, “My son came up to me and said, ‘I love you, dad,’” Juan said. “I guess he’s OK.”

Juan was arrested on suspicion of reckless endangering Saturday morning but was released that afternoon after prosecutors declined to pursue the case.

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