Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2-year-old boy dies from accidental shooting in his home

By Wendy Leonard, Deseret News

Published: Sat, April 19 10:03 p.m. MDT

 A 2-year-old boy has died from an accidental shooting at his home and police say the boy's 3-year-old sister pulled the trigger.

A 2-year-old boy has died from an accidental shooting at his home and police say the boy's 3-year-old sister pulled the trigger.

(Shutterstock)

WELLSVILLE — A 2-year-old boy has died from an accidental shooting at his home and police say the boy's 3-year-old sister pulled the trigger.

"This is a stark reminder of the importance of keeping guns locked up and denied access to young people," Cache County Sheriff Lt. Mike Peterson said. "This is a very tragic incident, but one that is preventable."

The boy, whose name was not released, was shot in the stomach with a .22-caliber rifle that was used earlier in the day and then left in the living room of the home, near 3600 West and 2200 South, in the College Ward area of unincorporated Cache County. The incident occurred at about 6:40 p.m. on Friday.

"The gun was in an unloaded state but did have live rounds in the magazine," Peterson said. "We believe the 3-year-old had to manipulate the action enough to chamber a live round."

The boy's mother heard the gun shot from another room and called for help, according to Peterson. He said the boy was taken to Logan Regional Hospital, where he was rushed into surgery. The boy was later flown to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, where he died.

Neighbor Becky Stivers said the entire neighborhood is thinking about the young family and are willing to help them in any way they can. She said she and other neighbors have already discussed setting up a fundraiser to help with any expenses.

"It deeply affected everybody," Stivers said. "It was just very devastating for everyone around after we heard what happened."

She said everyone in the area has kids and this is one of those incidents you "don't think is going to happen."

"It's just one of those things ... just a pure accident," Stivers said. "It's a horrible thing and our hearts are breaking for the family."

While police believe the shooting was accidental, Peterson said the investigation is ongoing and will be reviewed by the county attorney's office to decide whether charging the parents is warranted.

"We urge any and all to take an inventory of their current practices in storing guns and ammunitions," he said. "Incidents like this are devastating and the best thing we can do from here is learn from the experience and make ourselves more vigilant and safe."

Contributing: Sandra Yi

Email: wleonard@deseretnews.com, Twitter: wendyleonards

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1. carman
Wasatch Front, UT,
April 19, 2014

My most heart-felt condolences to the family which is suffering incredibly right now. I can't image what they are going through right now, or the long-term effects this will have on them. The 3-year old needs to clearly learn over time that this was not her fault.

Please don't hide guns in the closet, under the bed or in a dresser drawer. Those who own guns should have a proper gun safe and use it.

2. CBAX
Provo, UT,
April 19, 2014

Snip from the article:

"with a .22-caliber rifle that was used earlier in the day and then left in the living room of the home"

I found the problem. Let me highlight it.

".22-caliber rifle... left in the living room."

3. toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT,
April 19, 2014

Those who think anyone should have a gun anytime should rethink their position, too, perhaps.

There aren't any words that make sense of this terrible tragedy. I hope the best for the family. Certainly they are suffering a great deal right now. The saddest part is how absolutely preventable this type of accident is when using proper safeguards. That is what makes it likely almost unbearable. I feel sorry for them.

4. Aggie5
Kuna, ID,
April 19, 2014

Toosmart.
This is a tragedy. A huge one. Please reframe from making the parents feel worse by choosing to own a firearm.

5. Member Institute of Medicine
Iowa City, IA,
April 19, 2014

My condolences to the family regarding this tragic accident involving a gun. I agree that this specific incident should not be made an issue for the cause of gun control. However to facilitate learning from this unfortunate episode it is fair to point out that the scientific literature on the risks and benefits of having a gun in the home indicate that the health risk of a gun in the home is greater than the benefit. There is no credible evidence of a deterrent effect of firearms. However, the risk of harm to a family member far out weighs any protective effect from violence or break-in. Groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics urge parents not to have guns in the home. While people are free to exercise their second amendment rights, it is not necessarily wise to do so. Instead of purchasing and using a gun safe, a reasonable alternative is to not purchase a gun.