A toddler is recovering in a hospital tonight after a Moody Airman accidentally shot the little boy in his hand.
Airman Justin Hamilton told Lowndes County deputies he was cleaning his gun inside his apartment at the Northwind complex around 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon. He said he didn't think it was loaded when he pulled the trigger. The bullet shot through the wall, across a breezeway, into the apartment of 14-month-old Christian Ellison and through the boy's hand.
Investigators say an off-duty Valdosta Police officer then caught Hamilton trying to hide the shell casing.
"It was a tragic accident but one of the charges we made against him was tampering with evidence, and the reason we did that was once the shooting happened he took the spent shell and went outside and disposed of the shell," said Sheriff Chris Prine.
Hamilton is also charged with reckless conduct. The Office of Special Investigations at Moody is also investigating the incident and Hamilton could face punishment with the Air Force. Officials tell us the toddler may lose a finger.