WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Two Woonsocket residents are facing charges after a 7-year-old boy was reportedly shot with a BB gun for misbehaving over the weekend, 12 News has learned.
Officers rushed to Fourth Avenue on Sunday after a concerned neighbor noticed the injured child and called for help, according to the police report obtained by 12 News.
“He told the neighbor he had been shot with a BB gun by a relative,” Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas Oates explained. “If it wasn’t for that neighbor, I don’t believe we would have been notified.”
The boy’s mother, 27-year-old Ann Marie Doyon, told officers her cousin had shot her son once in the side with a BB gun.
Doyon explained that her cousin, 36-year-old Paul Marcheterre, was trying to break up a fight between her son and his 3-year-old brother, according to the police report.
The report states that Marcheterre admitted to shooting the boy, but stressed that it was a plastic BB and the child wasn’t seriously injured.
Oates described the incident as disturbing and said no matter what type of BB it was, weapons should never be used for disciplinary purposes.
“Shooting someone with a firearm of any type is a felony,” Oates said. “It’s extremely dangerous.”
Doyon appeared to downplay the incident and claimed the call stemmed from a neighborhood dispute, according to Oates. She also reportedly assured officers that it “was not a big deal” and that Marcheterre “…had done this in the past.”
“That was alarming to us,” Oates added. “There’s no excuse for it.”
Marcheterre was arrested and charged with second-degree child abuse and felony assault. Doyon was also taken into custody on charges of child neglect, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of justice.