FELTON, Minn. -- A Felton, Minn., man is accused of shooting his 22-month-old daughter in the leg after handling his gun in dim lighting after drinking 12 beers.
Fernando Rocha, 24, was charged Thursday in Clay County District Court with one count of child endangerment, a felony.
Clay County deputies received a report Friday that a 22-month-old was being treated at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo for a gunshot wound, court documents state.
At the hospital, Rocha told detectives he'd been sitting on the floor near the bed cleaning his handgun by the light of a portable lamp at about 4:30 a.m. when it went off as he was putting it away, hitting the child who was asleep in the bed with his wife.
He admitted to drinking about 12 beers in the course of the evening, court documents allege.
The toddler was hit through the right thigh by the bullet from the 45-caliber gun, a trajectory which didn't square with the angle at which Rocha told them he'd been sitting at the time of the shooting, investigators found.
Another witness confirmed to investigators that the lights in the home were off because the power had been turned off to that address sometime earlier.
Three days later, in another law enforcement interview, Rocha allegedly admitted he'd been sitting on the bed and playing with the gun when it went off and hit his daughter.
He told detectives he would not have been impaired by the alcohol he'd consumed, court documents say.