NAPLES, Maine — A 9-year-old boy shot in the head with a pellet gun remained hospitalized in serious condition Friday at Maine Medical Center while his uncle is being held a mile away at the county jail.
The pellet that lodged in the front of Gavin Gilmore’s brain was removed by surgeons, but he was suffering from paralysis on one side of his body on Friday, said Capt. Jeff Davis of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department. Doctors hoped the situation would improve with time, he said.
The boy’s 26-year-old uncle Daniel McGill was charged with elevated aggravated assault in the shooting Thursday at the home they shared in Naples, 30 miles north of Portland.
McGill was inebriated and seated on a deck with the gun across his lap when it discharged while the boy was 5 feet away, Davis said. The .177-caliber gun was loaded with pointy-tipped pellets for penetration, he said.
“It goes without saying if you’re intoxicated you shouldn’t be picking up any type of firearm, whether it’s a BB gun or any other type of weapon,” Davis said. “It’s a recipe for disaster.”
McGill, who told police he was shooting at squirrels, got into a scuffle with the deputy who was investigating, leading to additional charges of assaulting an officer.
After making his initial court appearance, McGill was returned Friday evening to the Cumberland County Jail, where bail was set at $100,000 cash or $250,000 property, an official said. A jail official said the paperwork did not indicate whether McGill had retained a lawyer.
McGill originally was charged with aggravated assault, but the charge was upgraded Friday to elevated aggravated assault, a Class A felony, because his actions with a dangerous weapon demonstrated a depraved indifference to human life, the captain said.