Couple accused of leaving firearm unsecured

A West Texas couple was arrested Friday, five months after a 12-year-old boy shot another teenager with a .22 caliber rifle authorities said they left unsecured.

According to an Ector County Sheriff’s Office report, the 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old friend were playing video games on Sept. 18 in the 6800 block of West 26th Street when the younger boy accidentally discharged the rifle, which had been left loaded and unsecured.

According to an arrest warrant issued Feb. 15, the older boy was struck in the back by a bullet and remained hospitalized in a Lubbock hospital for more than a month. He still requires physical therapy.

Paul Wayne Palmer Jr., 42, and Ashley Paige Palmer, 36, were arrested Feb. 17 on suspicion of making a firearm accessible to a child, a misdemeanor.

They were released from the Ector County jail the same day after posting bonds of $1,500 each.