In a very tragic incident that took place on Thursday, November 15, a 2-year-old baby boy accidentally shot himself dead after finding a handgun under a pillow at his home.
According to police in Jonesboro, Georgia, they responded to reports of a child shot on Thursday and upon examination, they found a toddler with a gunshot wound to his body, a report published by NBC News stated.
Captain Scott Stubb, a spokesman for the Clayton County Police Department, didn’t identify the boy for legal reasons but detailed that the boy entered a room where his father — 31-year-old Johnathan Butler — was sleeping in their home in the 300 block of Blackhawk Trail. The unfortunate incident took place around noon when the toddler found a handgun under a pillow and shot himself with it.
According to a report by AJC, the mother of the deceased toddler, 24-year-old Naterika Pearman, was sleeping in the front room when the accident occurred.
Stubbs said that the family rushed the toddler to the hospital where he passed away. Police are still investigating the incident and according to Stubbs, the boy’s family is cooperating with them.
Stubbs further said that the case will be reviewed with the district attorney’s office, which will decide whether any charges are filed.
A similar incident took place in Houston in July after a 2-year-old boy shot himself in the head with an unsecured gun that he found inside his home, according to Texas police. A report by the BBC detailed that the child, identified as Christopher Williams Jr., was at home with his parents when the afternoon shooting took place.
Police believed that a 9mm handgun found at the scene belonged to the boy’s father. At the time of the incident, it was unclear if the parents would face charges. Following the accident, Houston Police Department’s (HPD) Special Victims Captain David Angelo held a press conference and appealed to gun-owning parents to be careful so that such tragic accidents don’t take place in future.
“You need to secure the weapons, whether it’s a trigger guard or some sort of safe to keep the weapons secured so nothing like this happens in the future.”
In May this year, Houston police also charged a man named Ali Parvez Masoom, 32, whose 2-year-old son found a.308 handgun on the table and shot himself in the face. According to the BBC report, “Mr. Masoom was released after paying a $1,000 (£750) bond and was facing a misdemeanor charge of making a firearm accessible to a child” when the incident took place.