After retrieving a loaded pistol from a nightstand at home, a 2-year-old boy in Maine accidentally injured himself and his parents on Wednesday.
Sheriff Joel Merry of Sagadahoc County confirmed the incident took place at the family’s home in West Bath on Wednesday morning, May 12, just before 8 a.m.
According to the Times Record, the child shot his mother, 22, in the leg, and his father, 25, in the back of the head. A “clean gunshot wound” was identified as the mother’s wound, while the father was only slightly hurt. The weapon recoiled and struck the toddler in the face. All three were transported to Mid Coast Hospital with non-life serious wounds, Merry reported.
A 3-week-old baby was also in the house when the shooting went off but was unharmed, WGME reported.
“The question of how the boy was able to pick up and fire the weapon is of great concern and is being investigated,” Merry said.
Merry says that no charges have been filed yet, and his office provides free trigger locks upon demand.
“In the 12 years I’ve been sheriff, we’ve never had a situation like this,” he added. “If you have children, you really should be securing any firearm in a locked closet or cabinet or have a trigger lock.”
“A parent should know better than to leave a loaded gun anywhere that a child can get to it,” Robin Buczkowski, a Woolwich resident, said. “For whatever reason, that did not happen in this particular case.”
The shooting has prompted the Maine Gun Safety Coalition to re-introduce LD 759, the bill that will punish parents if their kid has access to a fired weapon, WGME noted.
According to Merry, the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with the Sagadahoc County District Attorney’s Office, is still investigating the shooting.
At the beginning of this month, the Fort Myers Police Department (FMPD) in Florida hosted a gun safety event for kids at the S.T.A.R.S Complex. This follows a previous incident in which a child inadvertently shot and killed another child in the area.
Officer Keron Ramjattan with FMPD’s community relations unit said, “The curiosity of some of the kids can get them into situations where, you know, it’s dangerous,”
Anybody with a gun is encouraged to pick up a lock that the police department has offered, and police will show them how to use it correctly, according to FMPD.
“Again, it’s just all about educating your children and letting them know that these aren’t toys,” Ramjattan stated. “They’re dangerous.”