10-year-old Sampson County boy airlifted after being shot in face

Sampson County Sheriff's Office vehicle (Akilah Davis/WTVD)

HARRELLS, Sampson County - The Sampson County Sheriff's Office says it has charged a stepfather after a 10-year-old boy was shot in the face Thursday evening.

It happened in the Harrells community, in the southernmost part of Sampson County. Deputies were dispatched about 7 p.m. to an address on Maddie Lane.

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Before first responders could get to the scene, family members put the victim in a car and started driving toward Clinton to take him to a hospital.

A deputy intercepted the car and rendered first aid until Sampson County EMS arrived. They eventually took the injured boy to a landing zone where he was flown to a trauma center.

Deputies said the child's father - 31-year-old Jeffrey Lee Newton Jr. - told them he and his son were walking on Belvin-Maynard Road when the he heard a gunshot and saw his son fall.

He carried the child back to their home and called for help.

But Friday, deputies said they determined the child shot himself after Newton allowed him to have access to a firearm.

Newton is charged with permitting a child to have access/use of a firearm and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.

He was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under a $5,000.00 bond. The investigation is on-going and additional charges may be filed.

The child was in stable condition at UNC Hospitals.