According to authorities, the Chicago father of a 3-year-old toddler who accidentally shot his mom over the weekend might face gun charges. The family was sitting in their car in the parking lot of a Food for Less shop in the Dolton area when the boy gained access to the handgun and discharged it, striking his mother. The child was in a car seat in the rear, with his father in the driver’s seat and his mother in the passenger seat.
Per The Sun, the boy’s parents were unaware that he had the gun until it fired, striking 22-year-old Daejah Collins in the neck, according to Dolton police. After the incident, the boy’s father, Romell Watson, 23, was allegedly arrested.
Boy, 3, accidentally fires a gun that kills his mom in a parking lot
According to the Associated Press, he will be charged with unauthorized use of a firearm. Investigators are attempting to identify the specific charges against Watson, according to Dolton Police Chief Robert Collins Jr.
At the time of Saturday’s incident in Chicago, there was no proof that he discharged the firearm or even knew the boy was carrying it. Watson lawfully owned the handgun, but he did not have the concealed carry permit he would have required to carry it in the vehicle, according to investigators. According to the report, the toddler was questioned by a professional who specializes in communicating with children.
The incident in Chicago was the latest occurrence of a scenario that is all too often in the United States: a child discovers a gun and accidentally discharges it. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a major gun-control advocacy group, accidental shootings by minors under the age of 18 killed 142 people and injured 242 others in 2020.
The number of persons killed increased to 154 in 2021, while the number of people injured increased slightly to 244. So far this year, 16 people have been killed and 29 have been injured in similar shootings, according to the organization. According to research released in 2021 that looked over a six-year period ending in 2020, a number of factors have contributed to a large increase in these shootings in recent years.
During that six-year period, youths 14 to 17 years old accounted for the most of these instances (776), while children five years old or less accounted for the second greatest number (610). In fact, the study discovered that this number was larger than the total number of elementary and middle school-aged children who inadvertently shot themselves or someone else.