The 10-year-old was doing target practice while unsupervised in the 300 block of Mill Creek Road, said Pacific County Sheriff Scott Johnson. The 9-year-old apparently asked and got permission to go join his brother.
At some point, the 9-year-old was holding on to a rope swing about 3-5 feet away from his brother when he was shot by a .22 caliber rifle, Johnson said.
Johnson said poor cell service made it difficult for 911 dispatchers to get information at first.
One faint 911 call from the boy's frantic mother was able to report to dispatchers her 9-year-old son had been shot and she was able to relay her address, but the call soon got disconnected.
The boy's grandmother eventually got through to 911 just after 1 p.m. as she was driving the boy to Willapa Harbor Hospital in South Bend. Paramedics met the woman about 10 miles out and took the boy the rest of the way.
The 9-year-old was eventually flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he is listed in critical condition. Johnson said the boy was paralyzed from the waist down.
Johnson said it's too early in the investigation to know if any charges will be filed.
Johnson says Child Protective Services has opened an investigation into the family's conduct. He said there appears to have issues in the past at the home.