State Police say a 46-year-old Hollis man was arrested Friday after allegedly shooting his two young sons with a BB gun.

Maine State Police

James Pelletier was charged with felony endangering the welfare of a child and felony domestic violence reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon.

State police and Department of Health and Human Services workers investigated the case following a referral from Hollis Elementary School.

Police say a 9-year-old boy was shot in the upper thigh and his 11-year-old brother was shot in the right forearm. Neither of the children were wearing any protective gear at the time of the shooting.

While being interviewed by DHHS, the older boy stated that he and his brother were shot because they failed to do their chores. State Police said Pelletier admitted to shooting the boys not out of anger, but as a “rite of passage.” The man claimed that to get their own BB guns the boys needed to know what it feels like to get hit so they won’t shoot other people.

Pelletier was transported to York County Jail. Police say he is being held without bail and will go in front of a judge on Monday morning.