wsls logo

Grandfather of 3-year-old boy shot in Alleghany County believed his gun was hidden under clothes, warrant shows

Boy died after being shot in the head

The grandfather of the 3-year-old boy who died after being shot in the head told authorities that the gun used in the incident, his gun, was supposed to be hidden under some clothes, according to a search warrant.

UPDATE (Dec. 1, 2021 - 6:00 p.m.)

Investigators are searching for evidence of child abuse and neglect after a 3-year-old died from a gunshot wound overnight.

“There’s a heavy feeling in the air today,” said Alleghany County Chief Deputy Col. Matthew Bowser.

The shooting happened just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday at a home along East Dolly Ann Drive in Covington.

According to a search warrant filed Wednesday, deputies say they got a call that a 3-year-old had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the back/side of his head.

When deputies arrived at the home, the warrant states that they found a pistol. The child’s grandfather told deputies the firearm was his and was supposed to have been hidden under some clothes.

Three adults and several other children were in the home at the time.

During the search, investigators also found a revolver and multiple rounds of ammunition.

As the investigation continues, Bowser is asking the community to keep the family in mind.

“It’s very heartbreaking, especially if you have kids of your own. And I can’t even imagine what the parents and the family of this child are going through right now,” said Bowser. “Keep the family in [your] thoughts and [your] prayers.”

An autopsy has been scheduled for Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office still has to meet with the Commonwealth’s Attorney to see if they would file any charges.

UPDATE (Dec. 1, 2021 - 3:05 p.m.)

The grandfather of the 3-year-old boy who died after being shot in the head told authorities that the gun used in the incident, his gun, was supposed to be hidden under some clothes, according to a search warrant.

The incident happened on Tuesday at 6 p.m., with officers being called to a home on Dolly Ann Drive for the report of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The warrant shows that they arrived at the scene to find the boy who had been shot in the back/side area of his head and also located a pistol in the same room.

The 3-year-old was then airlifted to a trauma center, where he later died from his injuries.

There were three adults present as well as children at the time of the shooting, according to the warrant.

The search warrant acquired by deputies was on the basis of a charge of child abuse and neglect.

UPDATE (Dec. 1, 2021 - 7:30 a.m.)

The three-year-old boy who was shot in the head on Tuesday night has died overnight, according to Chief Deputy Matt Bowser with the Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office.

UPDATE (Nov. 30, 2021 - 11 p.m.)

An Alleghany County toddler is in the hospital after authorities said he was shot in the head Tuesday evening.

The Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene at a home on Dolly Ann Drive where they found a three-year-old boy who suffered a gunshot wound to the head. Now, they’re searching for answers.

Officials say the call came in just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday. When deputies arrived on the scene, they found the three-year-old shot in the head.

They say the child was airlifted to a trauma center in Roanoke, but his condition is unknown at this time.

Chief Deputy Matthew Bowser says the shooting took place inside of the child’s home while multiple other people were there. Investigators are waiting for search warrants to continue the investigation.

“The family is being cooperative it is just standard procedure to obtain a search warrant to enter the house and process any evidence if it’s found,” said Bowser.

It’s still unclear what led to the shooting.

Bowser says this investigation is still in the early stages.


Authorities are investigating after a 3-year-old boy was shot on Tuesday in Alleghany County.

The incident happened in 1600 block of E Dolly Ann Drive in Covington, according to authorities.

We’re told the boy is being flown to Roanoke for treatment.

Authorities did not release any other details about the shooting.

10 News has a crew heading to the scene to learn more.

About the Authors:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.