Loudon Co. man charged with child abuse after wife's shooting

Loudon County man charged with child abuse after wife's shooting

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Daniel Gary Duggan (source: Loudon County Sheriff's Office) Daniel Gary Duggan (source: Loudon County Sheriff's Office)

LOUDON (WATE) - A Loudon County father was arrested Wednesday night for child abuse. The sheriff's office said earlier Wednesday the man's wife was the victim of an accidental shooting by their son the night before.

The sheriff's office said officers took Daniel Gary Duggan into custody on the abuse charge.

A few hours earlier, Duggan told 6 News he and his wife, Stacy Wicks Duggan, and their 11-year-old son were in the same room in their Eaton Crossroads home Tuesday night when the shot was fired.

"I didn't see the gun," Duggan said. "I just saw the flash and I knew what it was. He (Duggan's son) said, 'Oh God, I thought it was a fake gun.'"

Stacy Duggan was shot in the back of the head. She's hospitalized at UT Medical Center.

The state Department of Children's Services said Thursday that all four of the couple's children are in state custody and its investigation continues.

Patty Leach has been a neighbor of the Duggans for 12 years. She says the flashing lights of law enforcement are a common sight at the Duggan house.

"The whole neighborhood, it's a very close knit neighborhood and we all feel sorry for the children, and we want the best for them," Leach said.

Stacy and Dan Duggan have been married for 16 years. They have faced a child endangerment and a child abuse charge in the past. The husband and wife both have arrest records that are five pages long including DUIs, drug charges and theft.

"Back in 2001, Stacy was charged with DUI and child endangerment. I don't know which child she had in the car," said sheriff's Detective Jason Smith.

Dan Duggan is also facing a trial on October 5 for aggravated assault and aggravated child abuse charges. "That stemmed from a vehicle accident he was in, in which the 11 year old who's on our latest case was in the vehicle and was injured severely," Smith said.

The detective also said the boy was run over by a lawn mower at his home, losing three of his toes.

DCS can take a child out of a home if the child is in immediate danger. The department would have to make its case in court, but it's ultimately a judge's decision to keep the kids out of the home, along with how long and under what guidelines.

Parents could lose their parental rights, but officials say that's not the norm.

Dan Duggan will be in court on November 7 for his latest child abuse charge. Investigators said Stacy Duggan could face the same charge.

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