PORTLAND – A 9-year-old boy who was shot in the head with a pellet gun remained hospitalized in serious condition Friday at Maine Medical Center while his uncle was held a mile away at the Cumberland County Jail.

Surgeons removed the pellet that lodged in the front of Gavin Gilmore’s brain, but he was suffering from paralysis on one side of his body Friday, said Capt. Jeff Davis of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. Doctors hope the situation will improve with time, he said.

The boy’s 26-year-old uncle, Daniel McGill, was charged with elevated aggravated assault in the shooting Thursday at the home they shared in Naples.

McGill was drunk and sitting on a deck with the gun across his lap when it fired while the boy was 5 feet away, Davis said. The .177-caliber gun was loaded with pointed-tipped pellets for penetration, he said.

“It goes without saying, if you’re intoxicated you shouldn’t be picking up any type of firearm, whether it’s a BB gun or any other type of weapon,” Davis said. “It’s a recipe for disaster.”

McGill, who told police that he was shooting at squirrels, got into an altercation with the deputy who was investigating, leading to an additional charge of assaulting an officer.

After making his initial court appearance, McGill was returned Friday evening to the Cumberland County Jail, where bail was set at $100,000 cash or $250,000 property, an official said. A jail official said the paperwork did not indicate whether McGill had retained a lawyer.

McGill was originally charged with aggravated assault. The charge was upgraded Friday to elevated aggravated assault because his actions with a dangerous weapon demonstrated a depraved indifference to human life, Davis said.