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November 28, 2014

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Metro officer, wife indicted in child neglect case

Updated Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | 4:13 p.m.

Approximate area of shooting

A Metro Police officer and his wife were indicted today on one count of child neglect resulting in substantial bodily harm after their young son shot himself with his father’s .45-caliber Wilson Combat handgun.

Investigators said Jared and Shawnee Bledsoe, of Overton, left a loaded handgun in a nightstand drawer that was accessible to their 2-year-old son, Jared Benjamin Bledsoe.

The child shot himself in the abdomen, according to an arrest report released last month. The bullet went through his small bowel, liver, colon, diaphragm, lung and arm.

Jared Beldsoe is employed by Metro Police but is on non-paid administrative leave, Metro spokesman Jay Rivera said Wednesday.

During a police interview, Jared Bledsoe told investigators he kept two unsecured, loaded handguns in the bedroom. One was in the nightstand drawer. The other was kept inside a bag on the closet floor.

At 10:53 p.m. Feb. 6, Shawnee Bledsoe called police to report that her son had a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The child was taken to UMC and had emergency surgery.

Neil Beller, the Bledsoes' attorney, said Wednesday he was disappointed by the grand jury’s decision. The injury to their son and the loss of Jared Bledsoe’s pay was punishment enough, he said.

Beller said the child is doing “fine,” but didn't know if he would be needing further medical treatment for his injuries.

Investigators said that at the time of the shooting, the Bledsoes had several guests at their home and were playing cards in the kitchen. They had put Jared and their other son, 4, to bed in separate rooms. Jared had been put in the master bedroom.

While the guests were playing cards, they heard a gunshot from the master bedroom. The parents and other adults ran into the room, where they found Jared lying on his back on the bed.

An arraignment for the couple is set for April 29.

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