Law enforcement officers continue to search for and seek information about the whereabouts of a man now charged in the shooting of a four-year-old girl.
Steven A. Cooney, 30, and his son had been living with his girlfriend and her two children in a mobile home park on West York in Austin. The young victim is daughter of the girlfriend, who was at work at the time of the incident. The unemployed Cooney was at home with the three youngsters.
According to statements Cooney provided to Det. Brian Busick of the Indiana State Police, Cooney said that on November 29 he noticed a BB gun in the kitchen and “…decided to have a little fun…” with the two young girls. He said he grabbed the gun, pumped it at least three times and chased the children inside the house and into a bedroom.
When he entered the bedroom, Cooney said he could detect one girl hiding behind a curtain, but he didn’t see the four-year-old. He said he fired the gun into a mattress box spring leaning against the wall to “…unload it.” Cooney allegedly told the officer that he did not think the BB gun’s pellets would travel through the box spring and that this was the only time he had ever fired the gun into a piece of furniture.
One of the pellets which penetrated the mattress struck the child in her left temple. The little girl lost consciousness at the scene, and emergency personnel was called.
The child was admitted at Norton Hospital for Children in Louisville on that date. Det. Busick stated in the probable cause affidavit that, as of December 15, she remains a patient there and was listed in serious condition.
He went on to state that doctors who have examined the child have advised him that the pellet is deeply lodged in the child’s brain and cannot be removed.
On Monday, December 19, Cooney was charged with one count each of Level 3 felony aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent and Level 6 felony criminal recklessness and two counts of Level 5 battery.
Bail has been set at $50,000 by corporate surety bond or $10,000 cash.
According to court documents, a protective order was filed to prevent Cooney from having any contact with the injured child.