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Bismarck man charged in BB gun incident that injured boy

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A Bismarck man who police say shot his young nephew in the chest with a BB gun now faces two felony charges in Morton County.

Tyler Ross, 20, is charged with aggravated assault and child neglect, court records show.

The boy who was shot on June 23 told authorities he was taking apart a cardboard box in a northwest Mandan residence and Ross told him to hold up the box, according to an affidavit. Ross allegedly fired the BB gun and the projectile went through the cardboard, into the boy’s chest and lodged between two ribs, police said.

It wasn't clear what prompted the alleged incident. The boy and his sister initially told authorities that the injury occurred while they were playing outside -- that Ross was shooting at a target and the boy was shot when he ran behind it. Both later changed their story, telling authorities the injury occurred while the boy was holding up the box inside the home.

The boy is younger than 8. He was taken to a Bismarck hospital and later transferred to Fargo. Authorities didn't provide further information on his injury.

Court documents don’t list an attorney for Ross. He’s in custody pending $5,000 cash bail. He made his initial court appearance Thursday and will enter pleas later. South Central District Judge Cynthia Feland ordered Ross not to have any contact with his nephew. No further court hearings were immediately scheduled.

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