9-year-old boy shot by sister after father suggests they test the gun

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On Easter Sunday Jose Rentas held a family gathering at his house on Madison Street. His daughter Elaine Key showed up with a 38-caliber handgun she had just bought. “She brought it over to the family to show the family her new gun. Her father Jose Rentas who was the resident suggested that her and her husband go down to the basement to test fire it,” said Lancaster District Attorney Craig Stedman.

Rentas led his daughter and her husband Somoad Key downstairs where he had a homemade target. The target consisted of a container of laundry detergent in front of a door. When Key shot the gun the bullet went straight through the homemade target and out the window behind it. That's when it struck Key's 9-year-old brother in the back. Rentas drove his son to the Lancaster Hospital where he remains in critical condition.

The boy's expected to survive, but it could have been worse. Stedman said there was also a gas line just a few feet away from where Key shot the gun. "If you hit that with a gun you're going to cause a gas leak and then when there's an ignition source you risk explosion, not only the house but fire damage to neighbors and anyone else around," said Stedman. Both Key and Rentas have been charged with aggravated assault. Key's husband has also been charged with hindering the prosecution because he allegedly tried to hide the gun on a roof after it happened.

As for who's to blame, Stedman said it's the father. "I think he does carry more responsibility in the sense that it was his house. He knew what was behind the door. He knew that window was there, he had set up that target," said Stedman. Bail was set at $50 thousand dollars each for Key and Rentas. They have both been released. Key's husband is still being held in the Lancaster County Prison on a $100 thousand dollar bail because he violated his parole by handling the gun.

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