9-Year-Old Boy Shot In Chest By Family Member After Alleged Road Rage Incident

A 9-year-old boy is recovering in hospital after he was accidentally shot in the chest by a family member after an alleged road rage incident.

The shooting occurred at around 11 p.m. on Friday in the 4500 block of Hershe Street in Houston, Texas, according to KTRK.

The station reported that the boy was in a vehicle being driven by his father or stepfather.

The man reportedly believed he was being followed by another car and pulled out a gun, Houston police told the station.

However, they returned to their home without an incident. But police said the weapon discharged as the man attempted to holster it, struck the boy in the chest, and the man rushed the child to a nearby fire station.

KTRK reported that medics then transported the child to a hospital. He is in a stable condition at Texas Children's Hospital and expected to survive.

The boy's family member was co-operating with the investigation, police said. It was not immediately clear if the man, who was not named, would face charges.

The Houston Police Department has been contacted for comment.

More than 3,000 children and teenagers are shot and killed in the U.S. annually, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, while 15,000 are shot and wounded.

"That's an average of 51 American young people every day," the group's website states. "And the effects of gun violence extend far beyond those struck by a bullet: An estimated three million children witness a shooting each year. Gun violence shapes the lives of the children who witness it, know someone who was shot, or live in fear of the next shooting."

When American children and teenagers are killed by guns, the majority (58 percent) are homicides.

However, the research shows that around 115 are also killed in unintentional shootings annually.

The group, along with numerous other charities and non-profit organizations, urges gun owners to take extra precautions when children are in the presence of firearms.

Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched a campaign called Be SMART to raise awareness about how storing guns responsibly—that is, with firearms locked, unloaded and kept separate from ammunition—can help save children's lives.

Crime scene shooting
Stock photo. A 9-year-old boy is recovering in hospital after being accidentally shot in the chest by a family member, police said. iStock