HARRISON TWP. — A 1-year-old boy is in the hospital after getting his hands on a gun in his mother’s home and shooting himself.
Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck confirmed the investigation moved a lot slower than it should have because first responders did not get the correct story right away.
The child was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but the paramedics who rushed him there didn’t get the true story of how he’d been hurt.
“I don’t know, I was asleep and I guess he fell and hit his head on the corner of the dresser and his head is leaking bad,” a 911 caller told dispatchers.
That 911 call had paramedics rushing to an apartment in the Creekside Townhomes off North Dixie Drive where they discovered a badly injured little boy.
Hearing the 911 call worried Daycare worker Theresa Van Dyke.
“I am concerned that people are not being responsible,” Van Dyke said. “Even though they have a right to bear arms ... I think we need to be mindful of what we leave available for our children to get a hold of.”
The sheriff’s office said the two adult females in the home insisted the child was hurt in an accidental fall.
“Social workers and hospital doctors advised they believed the injury was caused by a gunshot,” Streck said.
Streck said his detectives were also told the head injury and fall story but did go obtain a search warrant for the apartment. That search told a different story.
“If you see the evidence photos, if it was a fraction of an inch off, it could have been a lot worse,” Streck said.
Lindsay Nichols is the policy director for the national non-profit, Giffords Organization.
She said gun violence is now the number one cause of death for children from zero to 19 years of age in the U.S.
Her organization is pushing for Child Access Prevention or CAP laws. Half of us states, though not Ohio, have some form of the laws, designed not to keep guns away from adults but away from the hands of children and teens.
“No child should be put at risk from an unsecured gun,” Nichols said.
Streck said his investigators are just relieved it looks like the child will survive.
They will speak with prosecutors to review potential charges against the adults in this case, potentially child-endangering or even impeding an investigation.
“It’s just a baby, they depend on the parents to protect them and if they were able to do that, that means the parents weren’t paying attention,” Patricia Wade of Dayton said.l
The incident remains under investigation by the Special Investigations Unit of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
We will continue updating this story.
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