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Portage boy shot self with rifle, not handgun as dad told police, charges state
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Portage boy shot self with rifle, not handgun as dad told police, charges state

John Mourani

John Mourani

VALPARAISO — A Portage man inaccurately told police his 2-year-old son shot himself last week with a .40-caliber handgun, "because he just wished it wasn't the rifle," according to a newly filed charging document.

"When asked if he was 100% sure it was the rifle, (John) Mourani stated, 'It was the rifle, I heard it,' " the document states.

Mourani, 30, who is charged with a felony count of neglect of a dependent, told police when he walked into his bedroom Thursday afternoon after hearing the gunshot, he saw the Micro Draco 7.62x39mm rifle "under Victim 1's leg crisscrossed with it," Portage police said in the charging document.

Police found was appeared to be an entry point inside the boy's right calf and a large exit wound on the outer right calf/lower leg, according to the incident report. The boy was transported to Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary and later taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Join Cpl. Jerry Patrick, as he patrols the hallways of Lake Central and Kahler Middle School.

Mourani initially told police the boy shot himself with a .40-caliber handgun and that the gun and extended magazine were left out of its case due to "hearing things around the house" the previous night. But he later told police the rifle was used in the shooting and "that he keeps both firearms under his bed with rounds in the chamber," according to a court document.

Mourani reportedly told police his son had come to stay with him at the residence in the 6200 block of Old Porter Road around noon the previous day. He and the boy's mother no longer live together, police said.

The child had been playing with Play-Doh in Mourani's bedroom while Mourani was in the bathroom, police said. The accused said he believes he was in the bathroom for four minutes when he heard the gunshot and then the child scream after being shot.

Mourani said he entered the bedroom and found both the rifle and handgun had been pulled out from under the bed, according to police. He pushed the guns out of the way and wrapped the boy's leg.

"He stated that the firearm (rifle) had a safety, but it was turned off," according to the charging document.

Police said they were called to the home shortly after noon, and Mourani was running out of the house carrying the boy, who was crying. Police removed a bloody T-shirt that was tied around the gunshot wound.

Officers said the wound was barely bleeding and medics arrived shortly after to treat the boy before he was taken to the hospital.

Mourani said he was the sole person taking care of the child at the time of the shooting, police said.

Police said they found a blood splatter on the carpet in a bedroom in the house and the handgun was half out of the holster. An officer found a .40-caliber hollow point round in the chamber of the pistol when clearing it.

The pistol's magazine was full with 22 rounds, not counting the round in the chamber, police said. The magazine secured to the rifle had 28 rounds and an additional round in the chamber.

Police said they also found a steel drum-style magazine containing several rounds.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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