A Wisconsin woman was fatally shot in the back by her 2-year-old son Tuesday morning, authorities say. According to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, Patrice Price was shot and killed while driving down Highway 175 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on April 26 that Patrice Prince, 26, was killed while driving, struck in the back by a single bullet passing through her car seat. The Sheriff’s Office stated that the 2-year-old child, later found to be the woman’s son, had somehow obtained the gun in the back seat and fired it.
Patrice Price was able to guide the sedan she was driving to the side of the road. By the time sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, she had stopped breathing, and officers could not detect a pulse. Although responders performed CPR on the victim, it was to no avail, and Price was pronounced dead at the scene.
Andre Price, the father of the gunshot victim, told WISN in Milwaukee that his daughter, who is the mother of three children, was driving her boyfriend’s car. He said the boyfriend was a security guard and had left his gun in the vehicle.
Authorities wouldn’t disclose whether or not it was known how the toddler gained control of the gun. After the preliminary investigation, it was unknown whether or not the 2-year-old was unrestrained, whether the gun had been in any way secured, or how the firearm was obtained by the toddler.
According to a statement issued by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office (via the Daily Mail), “Initial witness accounts indicate that a child in the back seat of the vehicle got a hold of a gun and discharged the firearm, sending a single bullet into the driver’s back. The MCSO investigation into the death is on-going.”
Later, WITI-TV in Milwaukee reported that deputies found a security officer’s gun belt on the front floorboard in front of the passenger’s seat. A .40-caliber firearm was recovered from the back seat floor directly behind the driver’s seat.
It was also later determined, through witness accounts, that the two boys were not in car seats. The gun had slid out from under the driver’s seat, whereupon the toddler, who was in the back seat (the 1-year-old was in the front passenger seat), was able to gain control of it. He then accidentally discharged the weapon and shot his mother through the rear of the seat.
Patrice Price’s brother, Antonio, told WITI-TV that investigators revealed to him that two of his nephews, ages 1 and 2, had been in the car with their mother. Authorities told him that the gun had been fired by the oldest child.
According to WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, witnesses saw the blue sedan pull over to the side of the road. They called 911.
Brandon Glass, who had been driving in the opposing lane, told WTMJ what he saw.
“I saw a blue sedan that had its door open and it was stopped in the middle of the freeway. I saw a body lying outside of that.”
Another witness, Kourtney Blevins, told WITI-TV that people were rushing to get to the vehicle.
“People were panicking and you could tell people were generally trying to help,” said Kourtney Blevins, noting that first responders were attempting to resuscitate a woman who was on the ground. “I know there’s some little boys down there, which they put in a police car. It was two little boys. It looked like some kids were involved, unfortunately.”
The shooting occurs just four months after a Florida mother was wounded when her 4-year-old son picked up a .45-caliber handgun and shot her in the back while she was driving. Like Patrice Price’s case, Jamie Gilt was shot from a gun that had been under the driver’s seat. Gilt, a pro-gun activist, maintains a Facebook page called “Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense.” According to CNN, she was later charged with a misdemeanor count of allowing a child access to a firearm.
Last year, a blog in the Washington Post noted that people being killed by toddlers averaged about one per week. The killings included both individuals being shot and killed by toddlers and toddlers killing themselves. The article’s findings would be used as a basis for a controversial meme that proclaimed that more Americans were shot and killed by toddlers than by Islamic terrorists, a claim that would by investigated by Snopes.com, the urban legend and conspiracy theory debunking website, and found to be true.
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