2-Year-Old Shoots Self In Face: Accidental Shooting Of Arizona Child Sparks Gun Safety Debate

A family and community in Arizona are shaken by an accidental shooting involving a child. A 2-year-old boy shot himself in the face Thursday in Peoria. Luckily the toddler survived, but the incident sparked more debate over gun control and safety, citing the Guardian.

Sources report that police were called to a home near Cholla Street and 83rd Avenue to investigate a shooting about 9:30 p.m. There, investigators learned a boy, 2, who shot himself in the face while playing on a bed with his grandmother. Apparently, the gun was "rolled up in sheets," but it's unclear how the child discovered it.

Police interviewed the grandmother, who said she was not aware the boy had the firearm until she heard a shot discharge. The toddler's aunt was also at home at the time of the tragic accident, but there are no reports if she witnessed the shooting. Apparently, she called 911 operators.

The boy was rushed to Phoenix Children's Hospital. There, doctors listed his condition as critical but stable. Sgt. Shari Howard provided a statement to the reporting sources via email after the 2-year-old shot himself in the face. The gun in question belongs to the father, based on the investigation.

"The bullet struck his cheek and exited his head. A portion of his skull was removed to alleviate the swelling. Doctors believe it will be another week before they can give an updated prognosis."
Howard's colleague, Jay Davies, weighed in on the matter.
"You've got to keep this gun with a gun lock and a gun safe and keep it out of the hands of children. Unfortunately these are the types of things that happen when these precautions are not in place."
Police say the family of the injured child is cooperating with authorities. At this time, no formal charges have been filed. However, according to the state's laws, when a minor is placed in a situation that may result in death or injury, it could result in child abuse charges, according to sources. Authorities ask that all gun owners exercise vigilance in keeping children away from weapons. Moreover police emphasize the need for supervision at all times when children are present.

News that a 2-year-old shooting himself in the face is shocking. However, another accidental shooting involving a minor in Arizona took place last year. In August, a 9-year-old girl shot and killed a range instructor at the Bullets and Burgers shooting range. Questions were raised over whether a child should be allowed to have access to automatic assault weapons. Many contend that even with the best training, accidents are likely when kids handle firearms. Charles Vacca, 39, died when he was shot in the head when the weapon discharged.

[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]