published Friday, November 16th, 2012

Chattanooga police charge teen who drove shooting victim, 12, to hospital

A 19-year-old was "hysterical" after accidentally shooting a 12-year-old friend in the face with a handgun, his girlfriend told police.

"Patrick, you shot me in the face," the child told Patrick Early, according to witnesses.

The boy was shot in his left eye and right foot Tuesday, according to a Chattanooga police report. He is in stable condition.

Early faces a charge of reckless endangerment and has a bond set at $1,000.

Early's girlfriend said he was hysterical after the shooting and immediately rushed the child from 1407 Cypress St. in College Hill Courts to the hospital.

The gun, which was not reported stolen, was passed around the Westside community earlier in the day, the woman told the police. After the shooting, the gun was left lying on the couch in the apartment.

Witnesses told police that Early and the 12-year-old were good friends.

Early's next court date is set for Nov. 28 before Hamilton County Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck.

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