Daughter shot in leg as father was showing the gun

OCEAN VIEW – Delaware State Police made an arrest in an early morning shooting Sunday at a family residence near Ocean View in which a two-year-old child was accidentally shot by her father.

According to state police spokesman Cpl. Gary Fourier, the incident occurred at about 1:10 a.m. Aug. 30 at a residence in the 37000 block of Muddy Neck Road. A 9-1-1 call was received stating a child had been shot.

Upon the arrival of troopers and local police departments from Ocean View, Bethany Beach and South Bethany Beach, it was determined that the father of the female child had allegedly shot his two-year-old daughter in the left leg while he was showing his wife a gun he had just received.

Troopers immediately took Joseph M. Jenkins Jr., 38, into custody without incident, Cpl. Fournier said.

Further investigation revealed that a burglary report had been taken around 9 p.m. on Saturday evening from Mr. Jenkins and his wife when his shotgun and some cash had been stolen from their house.

After troopers left his home, Mr. Jenkins went to a friend’s house where he obtained a .40 caliber handgun, Cpl. Fournier said.

Mr. Jenkins returned to his residence around 1 a.m. and upon entering, his wife woke up from sleeping on the floor in the living room. The couple’s three children, two girls ages two and six and a son age 10, were all asleep on a sofa nearby when Mr. Jenkins sat on the floor next to his wife to show her the gun.  As Mr. Jenkins pulled back on the slide of the gun and let it go, a bullet fired and struck the two year old in the leg, investigation revealed.

The mother immediately contacted 9-1-1 and EMS and Delaware State Police Aviation (Trooper 2) arrived to transport the girl to A.I. DuPont Hospital for treatment of the wound.

Mr. Jenkins was charged with assault first degree, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in lieu of $41,500 secured bond.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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