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4-year-old boy accidentally shot when upstairs neighbor drops handgun

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A 4-year-old was accidentally shot when a neighbor who lives in an apartment upstairs dropped a handgun.

The boy was taken to the hospital and has since been released.

The shooting occurred at 8:22 p.m. July 13 in the 800 block of Laurel Point Circle.

The 63-year-old neighbor was preparing to go to bed and took his 9mm handgun from a locked box in a closet. He slipped and fell in the kitchen, and the gun discharged.

The bullet went through the floor and into the apartment below, striking Nicolas Ramos in the thigh. Police say the gun fired twice, but the child was struck once.

The child’s father, who was outside smoking a cigarette, heard the gunshots and ran inside.

He rushed the child to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. They child was later transferred to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

The child’s mother, Nyree Ramos, said Tuesday that her son is “doing great. He’s up walking and playing.”

Ramos was at work when the shooting occurred. She rushed to the hospital just before Nicolas was flown to the Winston-Salem hospital.

Ramos said when she heard that Nicolas had been shot, her heart dropped.

Ramos said her neighbor is a good man and she understands that it was an accident. She said she does not think the neighbor would do anything to hurt her son on purpose.

Ramos said doctors left a bullet in her son’s leg because it did not strike an artery or bone and surgery could have caused more damage. The bullet struck his muscle.

She said her son was pretty brave. “He did whine a little, but he never cried,” she said.

The first bullet hit a refrigerator, which Nicolas was standing near while eating a fruit cup.

Police officials say the shooting was an accident and the neighbor was not charged.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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