Sebastian Swartz in hospital for shooting in Brown Co. - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Prayer vigil held for child in accidental shooting

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DECATUR, OH (FOX19) -

A prayer vigil was held for 9-year-old Sebastian Swartz after an accidental shooting in Brown County.

Two days after he was accidentally shot in the head while playing with his father's gun, the child remains in critical condition at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. On Wednesday, family, friends and classmates gathered in prayer for his recovery.

The shot was fired just before 4 p.m. Monday afternoon in the 10100 block of SR 125 in Decatur.

"One of the kids yelled ‘My brother's been shot'," recounted Danny Hicks. "I didn't see anybody at the time, then the mother came out carrying the young child."

Hicks was watching his sister's corner store when he heard the shouts from two houses down.

"I immediately called 911 and called for a squad and called a paramedic," he said.

Hicks says he used the radio he had just gotten four days earlier. "It was just by the grace of God that I did have the radio."

In addition to his radio from the fire station, Hicks had a background as a Desert Storm combat veteran and the help of a next door neighbor who was a paramedic.

"A child especially, it kind of weighs on your heart a little more, and it's such a tragedy because they've got their whole life ahead of them," Hicks said.

According to statistics from Children's Hospital, they have treated more than 200 gunshot injuries in the last 10 years. The numbers have generally hovered between 15 and 25 incidents a year although there were 40 in 2006.

"It drudges up old bad memories and what you try to forget as an army veteran," Hicks said of the incident.

He says he hopes others will not be quick to judge the family.

"Their father is a good man, and he's also an army combat veteran," he said. "It's just hard to make sense of how the children even got the weapon."

When they got there, deputies say they found the boy suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

The initial investigation indicates the gunshot was the result of an accidental discharge of a handgun. A witness at the scene confirms the sister of the boy tried to take the gun from him before it went off.

Swartz was flown to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati and was listed in critical condition as of 10 p.m. on Monday.

On Wednesday, officials said he remained in a coma, but was breathing on his own and responding to touch.

Pastor Kevin Jodrey led the prayer vigil at Decatur Park.

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