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2 arrested in child's accidental shooting at school near Lake Charles

Gage Meche underwent surgery Monday in Lafayette and is recovering from an accidental shooting at Moss Bluff Elementary School. (Photo courtesy of KPLC)

The gun which accidentally shot a 7-year-old boy at Moss Bluff Elementary School near Lake Charles earlier this week belonged to the father of one of the boy's classmates, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's officials said Thursday in a news release.

It was brought to school Monday when it fell out of a child's backpack, was picked up by another student and accidentally fired, the release states.

Sheriff's officials say the gun belonged to Michael L. Dugas, 50, of Moss Bluff, the father of the first grader who brought the gun to school.

Dugas and his 17-year-old son Jake A. Dugas have both been arrested in connection with the incident.

Here is more from the news release:

When detectives spoke with Michael he confirmed he purchased the weapon and advised detectives he allowed his son, Jake A. Dugas, 17, Moss Bluff, to keep the gun in a bedroom Jake shared with the first grader. It was also discovered Michael was aware Jake kept the gun unsecured, with no gun lock or holster, in a shoe organizer that hung on the wall in the bedroom the boys shared. During a search of the residence detectives located the transparent mesh shoe organizer hanging next to the bed where the first grader slept. Detectives also located an unlocked fireproof safe with keypad entry inside the bedroom closet that was not being used.
On May 18 detectives issued warrants signed by Judge Clayton Davis for the arrest of Michael and Jake Dugas. Michael turned himself in around 1:30 p.m. today. He is charged with negligent injuring; and improper supervision of a minor, with a bond of $5,000. Jake was arrested at his residence before lunch. He is charged with negligent injuring with a bond of $2,500.

Deputies responded to the elementary school in reference to a shooting Monday at 7:50 a.m.

KPLC in Lake Charles reports the first-grader who was shot is named Gage Meche. He underwent surgery Monday in Lafayette.

Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso tells the Lake Charles station that Gage is continuing to improve and has been sitting up in a chair.

Gage's family released a photo of him in recovery Tuesday afternoon.


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