THE father of a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot his mother over the weekend may face gun charges, police said.
The family was sitting in their car in a Food for Less store parking lot in the suburb of Dolton when the boy somehow got access to the gun and fired it, hitting his mother.
The father of a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot his mother over the weekend may face gun chargesCredit: WLS
Family was sitting in their car in a Food for Less store parking lot when the little boy got a hold of the gun
The father sat in the driver’s seat, the mother in the passenger seat and the boy in a car seat in the back.
Dolton police said the boy’s parents did not know he had the weapon before it fired, striking 22-year-old Daejah Collins in the neck, the Associated Press reported.
The boy’s father, 23-year-old Romell Watson, was reportedly detained after the shooting.
He will be charged with unlawful use of a weapon, according to the Associated Press report.
Dolton Police Chief Robert Collins Jr. said investigators were working to determine the exact charges against Watson.
There was no indication that he fired the weapon or even knew the boy was holding the weapon at the time of Saturday’s shooting.
Investigators determined Watson legally owned the weapon but did not have a concealed carry permit he would have needed to carry it in the car.
A person who specializes in talking to children interviewed the boy, according to the report.
“The child said he was the one who fired the gun,” Collins said. “We are confident he fired the gun.”
Gun safety advocacy organization Everytown for Gun Safety reported at least 2,070 unintentional shootings by children under 18 years old happened between 2015 and 2020.
They said this resulted in 765 deaths and 1,366 injuries.
In this timeframe, children who unintentionally fired the gun in these incidents ranged from toddlers and preschoolers to teenagers under 18.
Teenagers ages 14 to 17 made up the largest group, children five and younger were the second-largest age group impacted.
“Every year, hundreds of children in the United States gain access to unsecured, loaded guns in closets and nightstand drawers, in backpacks and purses, or just left out. With tragic regularity, children find these unsecured guns and unintentionally shoot themself or someone else,” the Everytown for Gun Safety report said.
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