POLICE: Uncle of 10-year-old who was accidentally shot in Rocky Mount arrested in connection

ROCKY MOUNT N.C. (WITN) – One man in the east is facing multiple charges after a child was accidentally shot in Rocky Mount.

The shooting happened shortly before midnight on Wednesday in the 600 block of Dexter Street.

Officials said the investigation revealed that three children found a firearm in the house and began playing with it. The gun was accidentally fired by one of the children and the bullet hit the 10-year-old boy in the thigh, according to police.

Police say that he was sent to Nash UNC Health Care for a non-life-threatening injury and has since been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

According to officials, investigators found out that the firearm was stolen during an incident that happened in Rocky Mount in 2021. The investigation also revealed that the gun was left not secured by James Mercer Jr. who is the uncle of the victim.

James Mercer Jr. was arrested on January 3rd on an unrelated charge on the day of the shooting. He had an outstanding warrant for possession of a Schedule 1 controlled substance, out of Wilson County. He received a $1,500 unsecured bond and was released.

A new arrest warrant was then issued for Mercer for possession of a stolen firearm & failure to secure a firearm from a minor. He was arrested on January 6th and transported to Nash County Jail where he was given no bond. He was transported to the Nash County Jail.

The Department of Social Services is investigating the shooting.

The Rocky Mount Police Department Criminal Investigation Division continues to investigate this shooting and requests anyone with information to call the Rocky Mount Police Department at 252- 972-1411, call Crimestoppers at 252-977-1111 for cash rewards, or Text-A-Tip.