MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — After a Meriden teenager was accidentally shot with a handgun in mid-August, police have arrested the shooter: his father.

Meriden police responded to the scene on Forest Avenue just after 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12, and located a 17-year-old male who had been shot once in the area of his shoulder and chest on the right side of his body.

Police said the teen had been shot by his father who had been showing him the handgun. The father, identified by police as Justin Mergel, said he was planning to get his son acclimated to firearms so he could begin firearms training at a local range.

The 9mm handgun discharged one shot, police said, and no one else was struck or injured during the incident. The teen was transported via ambulance to a trauma center through Life Star.

The teen is still recovering from this incident, police stated.

Investigators said they determined that the teen had been shot unintentionally by Mergel, who was cooperative during their investigation.

Mergel turned himself in to police on an outstanding arrest warrant on Thursday, officers said. He has been charged with assault in the second degree, reckless endangerment with a firearm, and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

Police are holding Mergel on a $75,000 bond.

Officers have reminded the public that this incident could have been avoided if basic firearm safety rules had been followed. The Meriden Police Department issued the following statement in light of this:

“Treat all guns as though they are loaded and take the time to double check to make sure they are unloaded when handling them. Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. As a reminder, the Meriden Police Department has gun locks available to enhance gun safety if needed. The free locks are at the front desk of the police department and can be provided upon request.”