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Accidental shooting to go to grand jury

By Seth Burkett · 340-2355

A grand jury will likely determine whether anyone should face charges in the accidental shooting of a Decatur man, police said Tuesday.

Friends took Gerod Harris, 18, to the emergency room at Decatur General Hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest Sunday afternoon, Decatur police said.

One of Harris’ friends told police he and Harris were riding in a vehicle with friends in an unknown area in Northwest Decatur when he heard a gunshot and then realized Harris had been shot, said Lt. Dennis Hughes, a police spokesman.

It later turned out that one of Harris’ friends had been displaying a small-caliber handgun when the gun accidentally discharged inside the vehicle, striking Harris, said police investigators Todd Pinion and Sgt. Rick Archer.

Police identified the shooter and recovered the firearm, they said.

A MedFlight helicopter took Harris from Decatur General to Huntsville Hospital, where he remained in critical condition in the surgical intensive care unit Tuesday, a hospital spokesperson said.

Archer said that although police ruled the shooting accidental, criminal charges remain a possibility. The matter will go to the Morgan County district attorney for presentation to a grand jury, Archer said.

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