GASTON COUNTY, NC (FOX 46) - Police are investigating after a 2-year-old boy was shot in the stomach Thursday in Gaston County. At this time, it appears the shooting was accidental.
A neighbor told FOX 46 Charlotte this isn't the first time the child has been in danger.
The neighbor, Lorraine Ferrell, said this shouldn't be happening - crime scene tape up - and an investigator hauling evidence out of a home where police said a young boy was shot.
"I just think something could've been done sooner, there's a lot of carelessness that goes on there," she said.
Ferrell lives next door to the house in Bessemer City where police said the 2-year-old possibly shot himself accidentally Thursday morning.
Detectives can't say for sure yet exactly how the shooting happened because, according to them, the child's parents Michael Walls and Misty Ware did not call 911. Instead, they drove their son to the emergency room in nearby Kings Mountain.
That is when police were called to investigate the shooting. The child was airlifted to a Charlotte hospital. Police said his injuries are not life-threatening.
Ferrell said this isn't the first time she felt the three children and one teenager who live next door were in danger.
"It was drizzling rain, he had no shoes on, no pants on, just a diaper, and I turn to look at the neighbors to see surely they're coming to get their child and when I didn't see no one coming, I just scooped him up and ran him over there," she explained.
Ferrell said the same little boy who was shot has wandered over to her house twice - with his parents no where to be found.
"His father came and I said 'Sir, your baby was on my doorstep' and he turns and looks at his 7-year -boy and says 'How did he get out of here?' So that was very aggravating," she said.
Ferrell said she contacted The Department of Social Services the second time the child wandered over to her house. DSS wouldn't tell FOX 46 Charlotte if they've been out to the house.
Gaston County police are still checking on past calls.
"I don't know what could have been done to prevent this. I just think maybe they could have looked closer into the parents," Ferrell said.
Gaston County police told FOX 46 Charlotte late Thursday they were just getting a chance to sit down and talk with the mother of the 2-year-old boy. They have not made a decision on whether charges will be filed against the boy's parents.