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Police: Shooting due to negligence

CADET – Shawn Rulo, the 6-year-old boy from Cadet who was shot in the head by his father on Tuesday, remains in critical condition. While Washington County Sheriff Kevin Schroeder said the shooting appears to be accidental, he also said it was due to negligence.

&#8220We are going to be submitting this case over to the prosecuting attorney’s office later today to see what he wants to do with it,” Schroeder said. &#8220He (John Rupp) will decide if charges will be filed in connection to the shooting.”

Schroeder said both the boy’s father Ricky Rulo Jr., 29, Cadet, and his grandfather Ricky Lee Rulo Sr., 48, Cadet, have been arrested on probation violation warrants.

&#8220Both the father (Rulo Jr.) and the grandfather (Rulo Sr.) were on probation and were not supposed to own or be in possession of a firearm,” Schroeder said.

The shooting on Tuesday occurred at the residence of Rulo Sr. where his son Rulo Jr. had been living.

Schroeder said Rulo Jr. had been convicted in April of 2006 of being in possession of a controlled substance. The father received five years probation for the offense. Rulo Sr. was also convicted in April of 2006 for being in possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. Schroeder said, without looking at the cases’ files, he was pretty sure the convictions were connected.

&#8220Both of the men are being held at the Washington County Jail without bond,” Schroeder said. &#8220At this point they can either waive their right to a preliminary hearing and go back before the judge or they can exercise their right to have a preliminary hearing. During the preliminary hearing the judge would decide if either men violated the terms of their probation. The judge can sentence either or both of the men up to the full sentence they would have gotten in the original case.”

Schroeder said it’s his understanding that the 6-year-old boy normally resides with his mother and was just visiting his father on Tuesday.

According to police, the boy was shot in the head with a .30-.30 caliber rifle. Rulo Jr. was allegedly unloading the rifle when it discharged.

&#8220The father said he was unloading the rifle in the master bedroom when the weapon went off,” Schroeder said. &#8220The bullet went through a wall, an aluminum door frame and struck the child in the head.”

The child was exiting the rear door of the house trailer when he was shot, according to police.

Police say the father reported the incident just after 2:30 p.m.

The boy was flown to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis by Arch Helicopter. Doctors operated on the boy on Tuesday and at press time he remained in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.

The boy is a kindergarten student at Potosi Elementary. Kristi Derby, the school’s principal, said Rulo’s teacher and herself met with his fellow classmates on Wednesday.

&#8220We talked about what had happened,” Derby said. &#8220A lot of the students had watched the news and surprisingly knew most of the details. We talked about who it happened to and most of the students knew that Shawn was absent at the time that the shooting had occurred. They had put two and two together.”

Derby said she met with the school’s counselors and a social worker in case some of the students would need counseling.

&#8220The student wrote get-well letters to Shawn and drew pictures for him,” Derby said. &#8220His teacher and I actually went up to the hospital last night to see him and give him the letters and the pictures.”

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