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Man charged with shooting niece with pellet gun

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A Stafford County man is accused of shooting his 8-year-old niece with a pellet gun, court records show.

Sami Tawafsheh, 36, is charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy said. Tawafsheh is scheduled to appear in Stafford Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Friday.

According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Stafford Circuit Court, Deputy Chris Neuhard went to Stafford Hospital last month to investigate a report that a child had been shot by a pellet gun.

The girl had been brought to the emergency room by her mother, who told medical workers that the child had been jumping on a trampoline at their southern Stafford home when she was injured.

The affidavit states that the mother believed that the injury had come from a pearl necklace the girl had been wearing at the time.

But after completing various tests, court records state, a doctor discovered that the child’s wound had actually been caused by a pellet that had been shot into the girl’s neck. A pellet was removed from the child.

Neuhard wrote that the child later told him that she had been jumping on the trampoline when she asked her uncle what it felt like to be shot.

She said her uncle asked if she wanted to feel it and then shot her, even after she asked him not too.

The search warrant allowed police to retrieve the child’s medical records.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

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