On Saturday afternoon, a Washington father placed a loaded gun under his mattress after he grew concerned about crime that occurred in the area and heard noises.
The father and his girlfriend, who was eight months pregnant, were watching television in bed when their 3-year-old son grabbed the gun, KIRO reports.
The boy, who turned four on Sunday, fired the weapon before the parents could react. King County Sgt. Ryan Abbott said:
“He (the child) found a handgun that was unsecured there and he grabbed it, and before anyone knew what happened, heard a pop sound. And the mom was shot on her face area.”
The 27-year-old mother was rushed to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Later the night, her aunt told KIRO that she was awake and talking:
“My niece was shot. She was shot but she’s doing okay.”
Last month, a new law went into effect in the county that requires gun owners to secure their weapon or face a possible felony.
Authorities are still working to determine if the father could face charges for not locking up the weapon. Abbott told KOMO:
“I think the hope going forward is that guns are locked up in people houses so something tragic like this doesn’t happen. Because now this child is going to be affected forever and we’re hoping and praying the mom is ok in this situation.”
The father said he borrowed the weapon from a friend. Police are still working to determine who the owner is.
It’s unclear if the gunshot wound to the head at all affected the mom’s unborn baby.
Abbott said he hopes the accident will serve as a warning to others. He told KIRO:
“I think the most important message here is make sure your gun is locked up.”