Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

February 21, 2013

Child shot in hand

Man cited when weapon discharges

VALDOSTA — A bullet pierced through a wall and struck a toddler in the hand at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when a neighbor at the Northwind apartment complex allegedly squeezed the trigger of what he thought was an unloaded handgun, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

The discharged firearm, a semi-automatic .40 caliber handgun, projected a bullet through the man’s apartment, through an exterior wall, across a breezeway and into the victim’s residence, reports stated.

The mother of the 14-month-old child immediately rushed the injured toddler to the hospital for care, according to reports.

An off-duty Valdosta police officer residing in the complex heard the commotion and met a man in the parking lot, sticking near the suspect until deputies arrived, reports stated.

Responding deputies later learned that the man had discharged his handgun inside of his apartment and determined that he had attempted to conceal a spent shell casing, according to reports.

Justin Scott Hamilton, 28, was taken to the Sheriff’s Office and charged with misdemeanor offenses of reckless conduct and tampering with evidence, reports stated.

Hamilton is serving as an active-duty member of the Air Force, so investigators have been working with agents from Moody Air Force Base’s Office of Special Investigations detachment.

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