Child shot in head by 12-year-old friend “fighting for his life”

A nine-year-old boy was fighting for his life in a Porto hospital this morning after being shot “in the middle of his forehead” during what is understood to have been a friendly game of cops and robbers.

The child’s uncle is due to be heard today in Braga court on suspicion that he was in possession of illegal weapons.

What appears to have happened is that Rúben and his 12-year-old friend came upon the uncle’s gun “in a bag in the garage” last night (Friday) and decided to play with them.

They were inside the uncle’s house, in S. Paio de Merelim, near Braga, when the shot was fired.

According to the 12-year-old’s grandmother, her grandson “only remembers after the smoke”.

“With the shot, he told me he hit his head against the wall”, she told reporters.

With Rúben’s uncle in police custody, and the rest of the community in shock, the child was rushed to Braga hospital where his condition was considered too serious to operate.

Head of casualty Soraia Oliveira told reporters: “After evaluation by the neurosurgical team” doctors decided Rúben’s transfer to Porto’s Hospital de S.João was the “most correct” way forwards.

The little boy remains in a critical condition with “reserved prognosis”. Oliveira would not be drawn on possible repercussions of the injury, but simply reiterated that it is “a very serious situation”.

A report by SIC television news has suggested the gun was not found in a garage, as reported by the GNR, but inside the house “in a drawer”.

A friend of Rúben’s mother, Natália Primo, gave the details, adding that Rúben had been shot “in the middle of his forehead” and was unresponsive after the tragedy.

A report in Público claims PJ police later discovered a number of illegal (unregistered) guns in Rúben’s uncle’s house.

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