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Aitkin teenager shot as father handles pistol

AITKIN - Sunday's shooting of a 14-year-old boy, who suffered a gunshot wound to the neck/jaw area in rural Aitkin, is believed to be accidental, the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office reported.

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AITKIN - Sunday's shooting of a 14-year-old boy, who suffered a gunshot wound to the neck/jaw area in rural Aitkin, is believed to be accidental, the Aitkin County Sheriff's Office reported.

The sheriff's office said Dawson Vanportfliet was shot while his father, Dennis Vanportfliet, 37, was handling his .40 caliber Sig Sauer pistol. The teen was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he is in critical condition. A candlelight vigil was hosted for him Monday night in Aitkin.

The sheriff's office was called at 9:50 p.m. to a report of a shooting at a rural Aitkin address. When deputies arrived on scene a couple of minutes later they observed Dawson with a wound to the neck and CPR being performed on him. The teenager was transported by North Ambulance to Riverwood Health Care Center in Aitkin and by North Memorial Air Care to Hennepin County Medical Center.

The Aitkin Police Department assisted the county with the investigation and the South Aitkin First Responders also responded.

According to a July 4, 2012, Aitkin Age story, the Vanportfliet family includes Dennis, his wife, Melissa and their children Dawson and Kobie.

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