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Toddler Shot After Finding Gun, Father Formally Charged

COLUMBUS, OHIO – A 23-month-old boy accidentally shot himself just after 11 a.m. Monday in his family’s home, according to authorities. Demonte Walker, Sr., 24, told police that he had laid his handgun on the couch beside him while playing a video game. His son picked up the gun and shot himself in the abdomen.

Upon arrival, officers who responded to the home at 2000 block of Bancroft Street were met by Walker and the child’s mother as they exited the home with the boy.  The child is hospitalized in critical condition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital but is expected to recover.

Walker was charged with child endangering, a third-degree felony, according to Detective Eric Poliseno of the Columbus Police Department’s Physical Abuse Unit. Police did not say if any other adults or children were present in the home at the time of the incident.

Week after week, we see stories involving children getting their hands on guns that are carelessly handled, carried or stored within easy reach.  Lately it seems that most of the children involved in these types of incidents are 3 years old or younger, and they often severely wound or kill themselves, siblings, or parents.

Guns left in dresser and end-table drawers, guns left in purses, and guns falling out of pockets are one thing (still not good in many circumstances) …but an adult laying a gun out in the open on a sofa with a toddler in the house and then turning his attention to a video game is not only irresponsible, it is inexcusable.

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