The child was able to take it out. He knew how to operate the holster. —Richfield Police Sgt. Trent Lloyd

RICHFIELD — The Sevier County Attorney's Office is considering whether to charge the owner of a gun used by an 8-year-old boy who accidentally shot his 9-year-old cousin.

The incident happened March 19 while the two children were riding in the back of a pickup truck along Main Street near 500 South in Richfield. A .45-caliber handgun was in a "secure type holster" that required a button to be pressed in order to remove it from the holster, said Richfield Police Sgt. Trent Lloyd.

"The child was able to take it out. He knew how to operate the holster," he said Wednesday.

While he was showing the gun to his female cousin, it accidentally fired. The bullet "entered and exited the victim, and then exited the vehicle," according to a statement released by police on the day of the shooting. The girl was shot in the stomach.

The owner of the gun, who was driving the truck, took the girl to Sevier Valley Medical Center. Lloyd said she spent one night in the hospital and was released the next day. The bullet miraculously missed all of her vital organs.

The gun owner has not been arrested and a name has not released by police pending the outcome of the county attorney's decision whether or not to file a criminal charge.

Lloyd said he expects that decision by next week.

— Pat Reavy