published Saturday, March 30th, 2013

Marion County teen recovering from accidental shooting

As a 13-year-old boy recovers from being accidentally shot Thursday, Marion County, Tenn., authorities say they now know how it happened.

Marion County Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said the boy's father, Kenneth Fagin, 36, was working on a 9 mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol's firing pin and went outside his home at 955 Kelly Cove Road to test fire it about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Fagin told authorities he didn't know that his son, Harley, was in the woods and in the line of fire when he fired the weapon.

"The bullet entered his shoulder on the left side and didn't exit," Burnett said. "The family transported him to [the emergency room] and the ER notified law enforcement."

No charges have been filed, Burnett said.

Late Friday, Fagin issued a statement from Erlanger hospital, where Harley had surgery Friday.

"First, we want to thank everyone for everything they have done for our son, who is now recovering at Children's Hospital for a wound to the shoulder," Fagin said. "This was just an accident and Harley is doing fine. He's had surgery, did great and understands everything that is going on."

The father stated his son on Friday was "a typical 13-year-old boy in a hospital bed. He's been watching "SpongeBob" this afternoon and is eating fine -- Jello and grape slushies."

Harley likely will spend another few days in the hospital before returning to school in South Pittsburg, Tenn.

"We want everyone to know we are at Harley's side, that he is in good hands and we appreciate all the calls and emails and well-wishes from our friends and neighbors," Fagin said in the statement.

Burnett said the incident highlights the need for care in handling weapons.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 73,505 Americans were treated in hospital emergency departments for nonfatal gunshot wounds in 2010.

"We have a lot of complaints about people shooting guns out in the woods and in backyards," Burnett said. "It's a good example of what can happen."

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Subscribe to his Facebook posts at facebook.com/ben.benton1 and follow him at twitter.com/Ben Benton on Twitter.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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