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Prescott Valley PD: Young boy with autism accidentally shoots father

Posted at 5:11 PM, Mar 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-08 19:18:44-05

A man is in the hospital recovering after being shot through the back by his 7-year-old son in what police are describing as an accidental shooting.

According to officials, shortly after 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Justin West was shot while he was sleeping at his Prescott Valley home near Loos Drive and Ranger Road.

Officials say the man's son, who has autism, knew the gun was kept in a small locked safe in a closet and knew where the keys to the safe were kept. The child reportedly used a chair from the dining room to access the safe in the closet, took the gun, and shot his father. Police say he could not provide a reason for shooting his dad.

The man was flown to John C. Lincoln hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.

At the time of the shooting, the mother was sleeping in the living room with their 2-year-old and 7-year-old sons. Another 13-year-old son was in his room doing homework.

The investigation is ongoing.