Police: 3 self-inflicted gunshot injuries in 3 days - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police: 3 self-inflicted gunshot injuries in 3 days

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police have responded to three incidents in three days that turned out to be accidental, self-inflicted gunshot injuries. The incidents involved teens shooting themselves and reporting that they were shot by someone else, according to police.

There have been seven accidental self-inflicted gunshot wounds so far this year, according to police. In five of the seven cases, the victims first told police that they had had been shot by someone else.

On Wednesday night, Dequan Jefferson, 17, reported that he was shot in the arm by a masked gunman during a robbery attempt. Dequan was confronted with conflicting evidence later at the hospital and admitted that he was playing with a riffle and the gun went off.

A 14-year-old boy reported that he was riding his bicycle near Water Avenue and 55th Street around 10 p.m. Thursday when he heard gunshots and realized that he was shot. The boy later admitted that he picked up a gun hidden in the State Street area. The boy said he was looking at the gun when it went off and struck him.

At about 11 p.m. Thursday night, Corey Cooper, 18, was found lying on the 700 block of Columbus Dr. with a wound on his thigh. At first Cooper declined to comment but then told authorities that he was shot by someone that he argued with earlier. Cooper later admitted to shooting himself and throwing the gun away after he was confronted with evidence.

Police are now stressing the fact that guns are dangerous and are urging resident to use care. Police also say lying about an embarrassing situation can only bring on additional problems. Police respond in mass to a reported shooting and canvas the area for suspects and clues, which takes up value patrol time. It can also put the officers and citizens in dangerous situations. Making false statements and reports can lead to charges being filed against the victim.

On Feb. 15, Deshawn King, 17, reported that he was walking near Alaska Street and Treat Avenue when four men rode by in a car and shot him. Police found a hole in King's jacket pocket and realized that the trajectory of the bullet went straight through his foot from top to bottom. King continued to tell authorities that he was shot by others and ended up being charged with false statements and false reports of a crime.

"Too many people are picking up guns with no training and it is dangerous to both themselves and anyone around them." said Major Larry Branson, commander of the SCMPD Criminal Investigations Division, according to a press release. "We spend an inordinate amount of time teaching our officers how to handle guns safely for that reason.

"It only adds to the problem when victims lie to us. It takes up valuable resources that could be spent maintaining the safety of the community, and the charges that could be filed against the victim for lying will only make his situation worse."

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