Boy, 4, accidentally shoots mom after his father gave him ammunition


— The father of a 4-year-old boy who accidentally shot his mom on
Monday “is kicking himself” for giving the boy live ammunition, police
said Tuesday.

The boy slipped a shell into a shotgun that was on a
bed in his parents’ room Monday afternoon and then pulled the trigger,
according to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Scott Wilson.
The 23-year-old woman suffered pellet wounds, but was treated and
released from Tacoma General Hospital on Monday night, police said.

Wilson said that no arrests are expected. However,
prosecutors could decide to file charges once the investigation is
complete, Wilson said.

“It would be something along the lines of negligence,” he said.

Wilson said the family has been pretty shaken up by the incident.

According to police, the boy’s 25-year-old father
had, at some point, given his son a shell to handle because he was
curious about firearms and ammunition.

The father told police he was not aware the boy still had the shell, Wilson said.

On Monday afternoon, the boy’s father was away from the family’s home in South Kitsap County.
While his mother was on the phone with her back toward him, the boy
found an unloaded semiautomatic 12-gauge shotgun under a blanket on the
bed, police said.

The bolt was pulled back and locked open, Wilson
said. “All the kid did was drop the shell in the chamber, touch the
bolt release and pull the trigger,” Wilson said. “He had probably seen
his dad do it a hundred times.”

Wilson said the shotgun was still on the bed when it went off and that the boy did not lift it.

A chair that was between the mother and the shotgun
absorbed some of the impact, possibly preventing greater injury, Wilson

The father “is kicking himself from here to next
week,” Wilson said. “The mother is injured, and the little boy is
devastated that he did this to her.”

Members of the boy’s family could not be reached for comment.

But Dave Workman, senior editor of Gun Week and a nationally recognized firearms authority, said the incident should strike a note of caution.

“It’s cases like this,” Workman said, “that remind
firearm owners about the importance of gun safety and making sure their
children understand they should never touch firearms without their
parents’ permission.”


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