A 12-year-old Taneytown boy was shot in the right forearm about 7:50 p.m. Thursday by a .22-caliber bullet from a rifle his companion had been handling.
The youth, whose name was not released by police, was taken to the Carroll County General Hospital and released after treatment, said Taneytown police Chief Mel Diggs.
Officers said the victim was sitting in a chair at the home of a friend on Wilson Avenue when the friend picked up the rifle and began pointing it at him and another boy in the room. They said the youth handling the rifle dropped the gun, but caught it by the trigger before it hit the floor and fired.
Pfc. Ed Engle said the bullet went through the boy's right arm, inches above his wrist, and between his chest and upper arm. It went through the boy's T-shirt, but did not hit his body, the officer said.
Police said the victim had powder burns on his arm and chest, indicating that the bolt-action rifle was within a foot of the boy when it discharged.
They said the youth who was handling the rifle told them he thought the gun was broken and did not know it was loaded.
Police said the youth's mother was in an adjoining room, heard the gunshot and rushed into the room. She immediately called for help.
Officers said they would review the incident with the state attorney's office.