Gateswood family narrowly escapes tragedy as 4-year-old shoots himself in leg

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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ROBERTSDALE, Ala. (WALA) - A four-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after shooting himself in the leg Sunday, July 17, 2022. It happened on Happy Hollow Rd. in the Gateswood community. Deputies said the boy and his younger brother were playing inside a vehicle when the boy found a gun and it went off.

His grandmother said Monday he’ll be alright thanks in large part to the child’s uncle, mother and a neighbor, acting quickly to rendering first-aid and stop the bleeding.

Tammy Bullock was back home Monday afternoon after spending the morning with her daughter and grandson at Sacred Heart Hospital. It’s been a very tough few days for Bullock and her family, having first lost her husband last Thursday and then nearly losing her grandson, Ryker to the accidental shooting three days later.

Bullock said Ryker and his three-year-old brother were going to the horse arena with their mother and uncle Sunday when the adults went back in the house for just a moment to get things they forgot. It was during those brief moments that Sheriff’s investigators said Ryker, who is autistic found his uncle’s pistol in the console of the truck and shot through the console and into his leg. Bullock said angels must have been watching over her grandson.

Tammy Bullock holds her three-year-old grandson, who was in the pickup when his older brother...
Tammy Bullock holds her three-year-old grandson, who was in the pickup when his older brother shot himself in the leg(Hal Scheurich)

“The uncle always, always unloaded the gun. Things have happened. We’ve had a lot going on and he didn’t even realize that it was in the truck. He didn’t think…and it just took a split second,” Bullock explained. “He opened up the console as they were coming back, and the gun went off. It went through the console into the baby’s leg. It missed every artery, every tendon and every bone. Very fortunate. All I can say is there was a lot of love…of angels around our family.”

Ryker was scheduled to have surgery Monday and his family expects him to be able to come home from the hospital Tuesday, the 19th.

No charges are being filed. Investigators said this was a near-tragic accident and a scary reminder of how quickly things can go wrong when children are around loaded guns.


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