ST. JOE — Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell said a 3-year-old child was shot in the head Wednesday evening near St. Joe and the shooting suspect was in custody Thursday afternoon.

Cassell said his office was notified about 6 p.m. Wednesday that the 3-year-old boy was walking on South Woolum Road with an older child and two adults when an individual fired a gun from his own property and a projectile hit the child in the head.

The projectile both entered and exited the boy’s head. Officials said an ambulance crew had already taken the child from the scene when deputies arrived on scene. He was airlifted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and was apparently in stable condition Thursday afternoon.

The individual who fired the gun was taken into custody. Cassell said the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division was leading the investigation.

Authorities don’t know if the shooter intentionally tried to hit the child, but they do anticipate criminal charges will be filed. Charges will be determined during the investigation.

Neither the name of the child nor the name of the shooter was released Thursday. Cassell said everyone involved were locals.

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