BLACKDUCK, Minn. - A Blackduck man was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 14, after his 10-year-old son accidently shot himself with a 22-caliber gun two days before.
David Bjerkness, 50, has been charged with the endangerment of a child by firearm access, a felony-level offense.
According to court documents, the child’s mother brought him to Sanford Bemidji with an injury to his leg that occurred on Monday. She said Bjerkness told her the child fell on a power tool when he was at Bjerkness’ house for the day. The injury was stitched, but the child was brought back to the hospital on Wednesday, Nov. 14, when the injury started to swell. That’s when the bullet was located.
After an officer spoke with the child, the boy explained how he found the revolver “between his father’s bed and the wall,” the complaint said. He told the investigator he accidentally cocked the gun and that it fired while he was trying to uncock it. It fired into his left leg.
The boy’s condition is unknown as Sanford Bemidji Medical Center does not release condition reports on minors, a hospital official said.
According to the complaint, Bjerkness told both the child and the child’s brother to say the injury occurred from falling on a power tool instead of from the revolver. Bjerkness was arrested late Wednesday evening and booked into the Beltrami County Jail.
In addition to the firearm that discharged, authorities searched Bjerkness’ home and found six long firearms. Several of the firearms were loaded and “would have been within easy reach of a 10-year-old,” according to the court documents.
Blackduck is about 32 miles northeast of Bemidji.