Investigators from the Maine State Police and Waterville Police Department investigate a shooting Saturday at 92 Western Ave. in Waterville on Jan. 2. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — A 2-year-old boy shot in the head Jan. 2 in his Western Avenue home is recovering in a Boston rehabilitation hospital as state and local police continue to investigate the shooting with plans to forward the case to the district attorney’s office for review.

Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Thursday that her office will determine if anyone will be charged with a crime in the case.

“The case remains under investigation,” Maloney said Thursday in a phone interview. “I spoke with the Waterville Police Department. They’re coordinating with Maine State Police to have all of the information provided to my office within the next several weeks. There’s still a couple more pieces they want to investigate before the report comes to my office.”

Once the investigation is completed, Waterville police will make a recommendation as to whether they believe there is probable cause to proceed with the charging of a crime, according to Maloney.

“Then I receive all the information, review it and make a final determination as to whether or not there is adequate evidence to go forward with charging an individual with a crime,” she said. “I do believe that they are very close to having their investigation completed within the next several weeks — and quite possibly sooner than that.”

Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey confirmed Thursday that he spoke with Maloney and police anticipate it will be another couple of weeks before they get everything they need to complete their investigation. Then they will meet with Maloney’s office “and some decisions will be made on how we move forward,” according to Massey.

The shooting was reported just before noon Jan. 2 and Waterville police responded to a home at 92 Western Ave. and set up a mobile command center before Maine State Police Major Crimes — Central officials arrived and set up their command center. Police spent many hours interviewing people and gathering evidence at the scene.

State police reported the day after the shooting that the boy was in critical condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland, apparently shot by an older sibling just before noon Jan. 2. State police said the older sibling “found the gun that was secured in a closet, loaded it, and a round was fired.”

Police did not release the victim’s name, but a GoFundMe page set up for the family said the boy is Evan Hood, 2, and his parents are Daniel and Cori Hood. The house on Western Avenue is listed in Waterville’s tax database as being owned by the Hoods.

Efforts to reach Dan Hood through a friend Thursday were unsuccessful as of late afternoon.

The GoFundMe page called “Help for the Hoods” said 202 donors had raised $13,535 of the $15,000 goal to help the family. A Facebook page called #evanstrong, which also is helping the family, bears photos and a video of Evan Hood wearing a helmet, crawling on a sofa and looking out a window of a building, with the accompanying post “Someone is enjoying his first full day at Spaulding.” The post refers to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.

On Wednesday this week, Dan Hood posted a message on Facebook, thanking people for their support and asking that they “like” and follow the #evanstrong page.

Maine State Police media coordinator Katharine England said Jan. 5 that no charges had been filed in the case, but that, when the investigation is complete, it would be reviewed by the DA’s office. Investigators were not commenting on other aspects of the case, as it remained an active investigation, England said in an email at the time.

After the shooting Jan. 2, neither Waterville nor state police would comment on what type of gun was used in the shooting, or how the gun was secured in a closet if a child could access and load it.

But gun safety advocates say firearms should be kept in a locked place and the key kept where children can not get it. Ammunition should also be kept separately from firearms and locked away.

Geoff Bickford, executive director of the Maine Gun Safety Coalition, said in response to a request for comment after the shooting that putting a trigger lock on a firearm is a simple, basic way to prevent such shootings from happening.

“This is absolutely preventable and avoidable,” he said. “No responsible gun owner would allow access in this manner.”

Bickford said a child’s being able to get into a closet and obtain and load a gun shows the child had a familiarity with the firearm, and that means a parent or gun owner has more of a duty to secure it. If a child was able to access and load the gun, that gun was not “secured” in a closet, according to Bickford.

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