MIDDLETON – The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accidental shooting of a 10-month-old baby by a three-year-old toddler.
Sheriff Kieran Donahue said the shooting happened around 4:15 p.m Monday at a home on the 25000 block of Middleton Road.
Authorities say the 10-month-old was accidentally shot by the 3-year-old sibling when the children's mother left them alone in a car with a loaded pistol.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Donahue said the mother buckled her 10-month-old into a car seat and went back into her home for a brief moment when the shooting happened. He says during that time, the 3-year-old found the high caliber pistol near a seat and fired it at the baby, grazing the child's cheek near the mouth.
Donahue said leaving the children alone in the car with a loaded gun was a mistake.
“Bottom line is the two children were unattended," Donahue said, adding “First and foremost, in a perfect world they wouldn't be loaded, there would not be bullets inside the gun.”
Sheriff Donahue says the child's mother heard the shot and ran outside where she realized what had happened. However, he says despite the woman's hysteria she was able to calm herself and call for help.
“... Visibly and mentally, she was able to keep her composure to make sure we got help there,” said Donahue.
According to state law, Idahoans have the right to carry guns in their vehicles with the proper permitting. Donahue says Monday's shooting should remind everyone that securing their firearms when in a vehicle is a must.
“If you are going to have a loaded firearm in the car, you are going to have to have it in a place where under the circumstances no one but yourself or an adult or someone that knows about guns can access it,” said Sheriff Donahue.
Donahue says parents need to accept the responsibility of keeping guns away from children. Authorities continue to investigate the shooting, and no charges have been filed yet.