Man Sentenced for Gun Negligence that Injured Son

Updated: 12/14/2012 6:56 AM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson

A judge sentenced Lue Xiong to serve two years of probation and participate in a community outreach program to teach members of his Hmong community about gun safety. Xiong was charged with the negligent storage of a firearm following an accidental August shooting at his St. Paul home.

Two-year-old Jacob Xiong was shot by his 9-year-old brother in August. Luckily, Jacob lived and is doing fine.

"Jacob is doing extremely well and we expect that in the long run he is not going to have any long-term ramifications from this," said Xiong's Attorney Cullin Smith. "He may not even remember it."

But there are other Minnesota families that aren't as lucky.

Last week, 2-year-old Neeg Xiong was shot and killed when his 4-year-old brother accidentally fired a gun in their Minneapolis townhouse. For two families that share the same name, their experiences couldn't be more different.

No charges have been filed against Neeg Xiong's parents and although the investigation is done, the Hennepin County Prosecutor's Office says the case isn't closed.

Thursday in St. Paul, a judge accepted Lue Xiong's plea deal, ordering him to serve probation but even more importantly, he must speak to the Hmong community about gun safety. The judge told him, "Your story has a happy ending. Unfortunately, there's another story in Minneapolis that doesn't have a happy ending. Use your story to educate others."

"This could have been so much worse but we're just thankful that it wasn't," said Smith.

While the two families are not related, they now know each other. Lue Xiong and his wife went straight from the courthouse to Neeg Xiong's wake to support that family as they grieve.