An 11-year-old boy has been taken to hospital after being shot by a 13-year-old who was playing with a gun on a southern Alberta Hutterite colony.

RCMP said on Monday at approximately 11:30 a.m., police and EMS responded to Pincher Creek Hospital for an 11-year-old from Pincher Creek Hutterite Colony who had been shot in the chest.

Police said a 13-year-old boy found a loaded .22-calibre pistol in an outbuilding at the colony and was playing with it, when the gun accidentally discharged and hit the 11-year-old boy in the chest. 

No adults were present at the time.

RCMP Cpl. Jeff Feist said the child’s family took him to hospital in Pincher Creek, where he was stabilized and transported to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary for treatment.

RCMP said they continue to investigate the incident, as well as the safety and storage of the gun.

Feist said as the shooting appears to be accidental, it’s unlikely the 13-year-old will be charged, but police are weighing charges against the gun’s owner for improper storage.

“From my experience and across Canada, the knowledge and efforts to make firearms safe have gotten far better. So in our area, certainly, it’s a rare occurrence that we get anybody accidentally shot,” he said. “In this instance, obviously the law wasn’t followed.”

Feist said the gun has been seized and that members of the colony were co-operative with police. 

The Hutterite colony is located about 220 kilometres south of Calgary, not far from the Alberta-U.S. border.

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