2-Year-Old Boy Accidentally Kills Himself With Mom’s Gun

In a distressing story emerging early Friday, a two-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself with a gun kept in his mother’s purse, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.

According to USA Today, the 23-year-old mother of the child “had momentarily stepped away” when her son, identified as Kiyan Shelton, climbed to a kitchen counter where the purse was kept. The boy took out the handgun his mother kept in the purse, and accidentally shot himself with it.

When first responders arrived on the scene, they found the two-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the shoulder. He was immediately rushed to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in critical condition, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Police said Kiyan and his mother were the only two people in the house when the tragic incident happened. Although officers said that the shooting is believed to be accidental, they refused to rule out criminal culpability pending further investigation.

Capt. Richard Riddle, speaking to IndyStar, said that the mother possessed a valid gun permit for the.380 Bersa semi-automatic pistol and that her description of the event appeared consistent with the evidence at the scene.

“Upon completion of their investigation, they will present their findings for a charging decision. The mother fully cooperated with the investigation and was released last night. At this point, this appears to be a tragic accident, but the (Marion County prosecutor’s office) will have final decision making on whether there were any criminal culpability in this incident.”

The present case has once again brought gun safety back into the public discourse, with many believing that the death of the child is the sole responsibility of the mother. While IMPD Chief Troy Riggs stopped short of blaming the mom for the tragic demise of the two-year-old child, he stressed the fact that parents should be careful with their firearms when there is a child at home. He also emphasized the need for parents to attend gun safety workshops.

“Tragedies can occur and it’s hard to believe that this could potentially occur to such a young person. I didn’t realize that this could occur until I had a gun safety class years ago, and they showed demonstrations of what young children can do with weapons. It’s remarkably scary. I’ll just be quite frank.

“So never underestimate the ability of a child to fire a weapon. No matter how young they are.”

This is not the first time in recent weeks that a toddler has been harmed by an accidental case of shooting. According to Miami Herald, another two-year-old was accidentally shot two weeks ago in Jackson, Mississippi, when her mother’s gun went off in a hospital emergency room. Reports suggested that the handgun, which was in the mother’s purse, was discharged when she accidentally dropped the purse. Fortunately, however, the two-year-old suffered non-life-threatening injuries, as the bullet only grazed the right side of her face.

In another case reported by Sacramento Bee, a two-year-old was critically injured when she discovered a gun at her mother’s friend’s house and shot herself in the head.

But while those two-year-old children were fortunate that their parents’ irresponsible behavior did not lead to their deaths, Kiyan was not so lucky.

[Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images]

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