A 24-year-old Boardman man will appear in Mahoning County Area Court today to face a misdemeanor negligent assault charge after accidentally shooting his 51-year-old father in the leg Saturday night.
Raymond Cerni Jr. is accused of shooting his father, Raymond Cerni Sr., at their Montrose Avenue home shortly after trick-or-treat hours ended about 7:50 p.m. In reports, police said Cerni Jr. “appeared to be intoxicated.”
Cerni Jr. and a witness to the shooting told officers there was no argument before the gunfire and that the witness, Cerni Jr. and his father were discussing guns and ammunition when Cerni Jr. displayed his gun. When he tried to clear the chamber, the 40-caliber, semiautomatic handgun fired, according to records.
Medics said the bullet appeared to have entered the right leg and groin area, and an exit wound was found in the same area. Another entrance wound was found on the left leg near the groin, but its exit point was not located, reports stated.
Cerni Sr. was conscious and breathing when he was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center, police said. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Cerni Jr. was given a summons to appear in court today.
Boardman police said the family is lucky the injuries were not worse.
Patrolman Michael Dado said guns should be stored in a safe or locked gun box.
“If you’re showing someone a gun, you should personally unload it in front of them before handing it to them, and they should inspect it when they receive it,” Dado said.
He said gun owners should be in the habit of never pointing the weapon at anyone, even if they are “sure it’s unloaded.”
“Unless it’s necessary, you shouldn’t handle your gun in public, and don’t handle firearms if you’re intoxicated,” he said.
Dado said gun safety and concealed-carry courses are available in the area.
“If you are not proficient with a gun, I wouldn’t recommend handling one,” he said.
Vindicator records indicate accidental shootings in Mahoning County usually involve youths. In March, Youngstown police said a 14-year-old boy was shot on the North Side and accidentally fired the fatal shot himself.
In February 2011, a 9-year-old boy accidentally shot his 13-year-old friend in the upper arm at a Boardman apartment complex. A month before that, a 2-year-old girl shot herself in the face at home on Youngstown’s South Side.
The last accidental shooting in Mahoning County involving an adult appears to be in February 2009, when a 23-year-old Youngstown man told police a shotgun fell, discharged and shot off two toes on his right foot, according to Vindicator files.