- The Washington Times - Monday, May 19, 2014

A North Carolina deputy is on administrative leave after his 5-year-old son shot himself in the ear with the officer’s service weapon.

The Anson County Sheriff’s Office is trying to figure out how the son of Sgt. Josh Beam got hold of a service gun that landed the boy in Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte on Saturday, a local ABC affiliate reported.

The boy is expected to make a full recovery, but he will likely have to undergo plastic surgery on his ear, the station said.

“I don’t know if any policies were violated,” said Sheriff Tommy Allen. “Our main concern is for the child. The child is doing well. This could have been a real tragedy but it wasn’t and we just thank God it turned out as best as it did.”

Sgt. Beam was reportedly inside the house when the shooting occurred, but he was in a different room. The 10-year department veteran has been placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure any time a deputy’s weapon is fired.

“He has an unblemished record. He’s a good officer, never had any such problems at all with Officer Beam,” Mr. Allen told ABC. “I’ve talked to him a number of times since Saturday afternoon. He’s blaming himself. He’s beating himself up. Nothing I could do or anyone else could do could compare to anything he’s feeling under the circumstances.”

Mr. Allen said his office has been contacted the Department of Social Services and the district attorney. When asked about the possibility of charges being filed against Sgt. Beam, he referred the station to the DA’s office, which declined to comment on the case.

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