Tragedy has befallen a family in a Chicago suburb after a three-year-old child accidentally shot and killed his mother after finding his father’s gun and playing with it.
According to the Associated Press, 22-year-old Daejah Bennett was shot in the neck on Saturday after her child found 23-year-old Romell Watson’s gun in the backseat of their car. The child began playing with the firearm and accidentally shot his mother from behind in his car seat. Dolton Police Chief Robert Collins Jr. told the press that authorities are confident that the boy shot the gun by accident.
“He somehow got ahold of the gun and began playing with it in a playful manner, pointed the gun and fired the shot,” Collins explained.“This is just such a tragedy.”
The gun was under Watson’s name and was purchased legally, but police said he was not authorized to travel with the firearm as he didn’t have a concealed carry permit.
“He was legally entitled to own the gun, however, he transported the weapon in a vehicle in a manner not prescribed by law,” Collins added.
Watson will be charged with misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon.
Citing advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, AP reports that accidental shootings by kids under the age of 18 claimed the lives of 142 people in 2020 and 154 lives in 2021. Additionally, 242 were wounded in 2020 and 244 were wounded in 2021. From January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2020 there were at least 765 deaths that occurred after a child unintentionally under the age of 18 discharged a firearm.