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Sheriff: Jackson County man fatally shoots niece while cleaning gun

Andrew Scott Jackson

COTTAGEVILLE — An 11-year-old girl died Friday evening after her uncle misfired a gun he was cleaning in their residence, authorities said.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Jackson County Magistrate Court, Andrew Scott Jackson, 36, 9 Fisher Mobile Home Park, Cottageville, admitted to ‘negligently discharging’ the firearm as he was cleaning, resulting in the bullet striking his hand and his niece in the chest.

Jackson County Deputy Sheriff Ross Mellinger said they receive the call around 11 p.m. Friday. Upon Once arriving at the scene, the girl was beginning to lose consciousness and law enforcement began to give her medical attention while they waited for EMS to arrive.

The girl later succumbed to her injuries after she was taken to Charleston Area Center General Hospital, the complaint said.

Two other children were present in the home at the time of the incident, including the victim’s brother and his friend, the complaint said. The friend was found just a few feet away from the place the victim was struck with the bullet, the complaint said.

He lives in the above residence with his mother, the victim’s grandmother, and brother, the victim’s father, the complaint said.

Jackson was previously convicted on a drug felony charge and was unable to lawfully possess a firearm, the complaint said. He claimed the firearm was his mother’s and he cleaned it for her regularly, the complaint said.

Two adults, Jackson and his brother, were in the home at the time of the incident and Jackson was considered to be the caregiver of the children as he was the only adult who was awake, the complaint said.

His mother was not home at the time, but she told law enforcement Jackson had been told multiple times by different people not to do anything with firearms while the children are in the room, the complaint said.

“It’s just wrong on a variety of levels,” Mellinger said.

She also said this was not the first time Jackson has misfired a gun as it happened about a month ago when he discharged the same firearm, the complaint said. The shot was so close to his mother’s face that she had powder burns, the complaint said.

“There’s a lot of failure that went into making this imperfect storm,” Mellinger said. “You’ve got a convicted felon who shouldn’t even have a firearm mishandling and acting like a fool with a loaded firearm in a room where there’s children present.”

Jackson is being charged with child neglect resulting in death and prohibited person in possession of a firearm. Mellinger said they’re still investigating the incident and other additional charges and charges on others may be filed when the case is brought to the grand jury.

“This case is far from over,” he said.

Jackson is being held at the South Central Regional Jail on a $150,000 surety bond.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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