CHUBBUCK — A Pocatello firefighter who lives in Chubbuck has been charged with misdemeanor injury to a child in the accidental shooting death of 5-year-old Noelle Aston Shawver, of Blackfoot, last July by another 5-year-old.
Rusty Lish will be arraigned in Bannock County Magistrate Court on the charge at 1:30 p.m. today.
The little girl was killed after being struck by a bullet discharged from a firearm held by another 5-year-old child on the afternoon of July 30, 2014, at Lish's home. Adults in the home at the time were in another room. The deceased girl's parents, Drew and Stacie (Udy) Shawver, of Blackfoot, were visiting the Lish residence on the 600 block of Canal Street in Chubbuck.
“It's wrong to have a firearm where a child could get ahold of it,” said Bannock County Prosecutor Steve Herzog. “We've been working on this case for a long time. Everyone knows what happened shouldn't have happened. It's been a really difficult case.”
Herzog said the message in this prosecution should be that gun safety is an essential issue when it comes to having children and firearms in a home.
A study by Everytown for Gun Safety released in June found that two children in the U.S. die almost every week from unintentional shootings. The study examined every publicly reported case of a child gun death from Dec. 15, 2012, through Dec. 14, 2013, and found 100 unintentional deaths in 35 states during that time period.
According to the group, the study found most of the deaths came from a child playing with a gun.