Man accused of accidentally firing gun while drunk, wounding chi - KMOV.com

Man accused of accidentally firing gun while drunk, wounding child

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A 7-year-old was injured after a gun accidentally discharged in a South City apartment Tuesday night. (KMOV) A 7-year-old was injured after a gun accidentally discharged in a South City apartment Tuesday night. (KMOV)
Jeffery Eckstein is charged with second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. He was allegedly drunk and playing with a gun when it off and injured a boy, 7, who was in the apartment above Ecsketin. (Credit: SLMPD) Jeffery Eckstein is charged with second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. He was allegedly drunk and playing with a gun when it off and injured a boy, 7, who was in the apartment above Ecsketin. (Credit: SLMPD)
SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

A man, 29, is facing charged for allegedly accidentally shooting a 7-year-old boy while drunk.

Jeffery Eckstein is charged with second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.

The boy was injured after a gun accidentally discharged in a south St. Louis apartment Tuesday night, according to police.

The 7-year-old was asleep on the couch in a second floor apartment on South Grand.

Police say Eckstein suspect in the case lived downstairs. He had a gun. It went off and the bullet went through the floor of the upstairs apartment.

The boy and his 9-year-old brother were sleeping on this couch when the shot rang out. The bullet came through the floor and the couch cushion and struck the boy in the hip.

“I said that was a gunshot,” Brenda Shepard-Bennett said. “Couldn't believe it, but I knew what it was.”

Shepard-Bennett lives in the apartment and says the boy who was shot is the younger brother of her daughter's boyfriend. She says the bullet shattered his hip.

“He woke up howling, ‘Ah… Ah,’ and I said he been shot,” Shpeard-Bennett said. “Y'all think he fell, he didn't' fall that was a gunshot.”

Shepard-Bennett says the suspect in the case had only moved in downstairs last week. The building owner says he had told her that he was a vet who needed a place to stay.

But there were some red flags and Nancy Kreis says a family member was already starting to check into the suspect's background.

“I do know he misrepresented some things about his service in the army,” Kreis said. “He said he was a vet, a ranger and deployed four times, don't know if any of that's true, don't think it is.”

“If he is under the influence, what is the difference between him operating a vehicle and operating a gun,” Kreis said. “You shouldn't even have a gun in your presence if you know you under the influence and you might make a mistake, there's people up there, could be me or my husband and it happened to be a little boy.”

She says that the boy who was shot will have to have extensive surgery and could be in a wheelchair for up to two months. 

The boy was conscious and breathing when he was taken to a hospital. He was listed in stable condition Wednesday morning. 

Eckstein is being held on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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