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Report: Officer shoots sleeping boy in chest

February 24, 1997

DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) _ A police officer kicked in a mobile home door and shot a 7-year-old boy sleeping at his mother’s side, a newspaper reported.

Brandon Sands was struck once in the chest Sunday night, his mother, Kelly Devonshire Sands, told The (Wilmington) News Journal. He underwent surgery at Christiana Hospital and was listed in critical condition today.

John Wharton, manager of the mobile home park, said the family had been evicted from the trailer. An uncle, Frank Devonshire, said the family had returned to retrieve some belongings.

The officer, whom police would not identify, was sent to investigate a report of either a possible intruder or children in danger, the newspaper said.

Ms. Sands said she saw a light in the window and called out ``Who is it?″ three times. Moments later, ``the door was kicked in. The officer had a gun and shot. He just shot,″ she said.

Ms. Sands said Brandon was lying asleep next to her, his 4-year-old sister and 10-year-old brother.

Police declined to give details of the incident. Devonshire said he was told police believe the gun may have fired accidentally.

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