Lots of ND's in the news lately. 2 children shot by their father Both critically injured; the Henrico incident appears to be accident BY JIM NOLAN AND MARK BOWES TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITERS Dec 23, 2006 Investigators believe a father handling his gun accidentally shot and critically injured two of his young children in the family's Highland Springs apartment yesterday morning. "Apparently the father had the gun and was either cleaning it or something to that effect," said Henrico Police Chief Henry W. Stanley. The children, ages 8 and 22 months, suffered life-threatening injuries in the shooting, according to police. They remained hospitalized at VCU Medical Center last night following surgery. Their names were not released. Henrico police last night were still investigating the circumstances of the shooting and had not settled on a definitive explanation for what happened in the Jackson Square apartment complex off Wales Drive. The shooting occurred shortly before 9:30 a.m. Police said that after the weapon fired, the father gathered up the wounded 22-month-old child and rushed out the door to the hospital, apparently not realizing that the 8-year-old also had been wounded. Minutes later, Henrico police were called to the apartment by a 14-year-old girl who lives there who reported gunshot injuries to the 8-year-old. At least three other children were home at the time. Police did not say whether they were all related. As of yesterday afternoon, no charges had been filed in the case. Officials said there was no sign of break-in or forced entry to the family's corner apartment unit, the first in its row of yellow-painted, four-bedroom triplexes. "It's quiet, real quiet," said Jackson Square resident Chris Johnson, who lives down the apartment row from the unit where the shooting occurred. "It's a nice neighborhood, that's why everybody is so shocked over this," added Johnson, 16, who said he attends Highland Springs High School with the 14-year-old girl who called police. Police on the scene said they do not often respond to the neighborhood, which is adjacent to a single-family home subdivision in Confederate Hills. Resident Ciara Chandler, 19, said that several years ago there were many young teenagers in the area and that there was more activity. Now, she said, units in the complex are being renovated and put up for sale as condominiums, and a number of people have left. Contact staff writer Jim Nolan at [email protected] or (804) 649-6061. Contact staff writer Mark Bowes at [email protected] or (804) 649-6450.