5-year-old Shoots Himself in the Face With Gun He Found in His Mother’s Car

5-year-old finds gun in car

courtesy MyFoxNews8

On today’s episode of Your Vehicle is Not a Gun Safe, tragedy struck:

Police have released more information about the shooting of 5-year-old outside a Wendy’s restaurant in North Carolina on Sunday. The boy is in critical condition after being shot in the face, according to WGHP.

The boy, described as about 5 years old, was inside a booster seat and unbuckled himself as his mother pulled up to the drive-thru, according to Randleman police.

The child was able to get a .45 semi-automatic handgun from a pocket on the back of the car’s front passenger seat. The gun went off and the child was shot in the face, police said.

So, what was the gun doing there? According to multiple news reports it was the result of a recent car-cleaning, although what a handgun has to do with cleaning a car is beyond me. Gun-free zones like workplaces and post offices add to the problem by requiring people to disarm, but that wasn’t the case here.

The gun belonged to the boy’s father who said he put it in the back pocket of the front seat while vacuuming two days earlier, according to police. Police said he forgot about the gun and the mother did not know it was there.

This is an utterly horrific way to learn this lesson. The most recently available news of the boy states he remains in critical condition.

The boy was transported to Randolph Health before being flown to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he is in critical condition. Officials did not release the boy’s name, WGHP reported.

comments

  1. avatar CZJay says:

    Honey, have you seen my gun? I don’t know where it went. It’s not in my holster. Oh, well… I will just go buy another one. I really wish they would make some kind of smart gun that I can find with an app on my phone and it locks out the kids from using it. Tell the kids if they find the gun to give it to daddy. It’s not a toy, so don’t let them play with it.

    1. avatar AFGus says:

      No….you teach your children that if they come across a firearm “DO NOT TOUCH IT”. Go get one of your parents and “take them to the guns location”. Never touch it!

      We “do not” need smart guns….we need “smart parents and smart gun owners”. There is “never” a time that any firearm that is outside my safe and loaded is not in my possession. Ever!

      1. avatar Troy says:

        Someone doesn’t understand sarcasm…

        1. avatar RA-15 says:

          Obviously !!

        2. avatar AFGus says:

          The first sentence sounds like sarcasm. The rest sounds like an opinion or statement. 😏

        3. avatar Mikial says:

          No kidding.

      2. avatar paul bruno says:

        When I was 5, my parents taught me never to play in the toilet, 3 hours later the bathroom was covered in shit. Thank god my parents did not own a gun.

        1. avatar Timothy says:

          If your parents were the type to leave something like a firearm as accessible as a toilet, then yes…. Thank God for morons who don’t own guns

      3. avatar trjnsd says:

        We’re talking about a FIVE YEAR OLD here. You think you’ve taught your 5yr old not to cross the street? Without looking? Not to ride a bicycle in the street? Not to play with matches? Not to talk with “strangers”? The answer of course is Personal Responsibility – Keep your firearms on you or locked, and be able to defend yourself and keep it if someone tries to take it from you.

    2. avatar ANONNYMOUS says:

      It’s a firearm, in this case/instance, lawfully and within reason, **** keep it holstered and on your person at all times****. Not much else needs to be said.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      people do stupid things…was it ever thus?

  2. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

    this gentleman should never breed ,let alone have a dangerous weapon. he is way too stupid for a gun-owner.

  3. avatar Scott says:

    Off-body carry is generally a bad idea.

  4. avatar Cloud says:

    What a freakin moron, who ever left the gun there. Always keep it holstered and or on body.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      For F***’S sake, a gun is something you just can’t forget about!

      It’s morons like this that give us a bad name and result in increased restrictions.

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      We have people who will literally forget their child at a rest stop.
      The problem obviously isn’t guns. (For those of you who can’t think: the problem is obviously people.)

  5. avatar RA-15 says:

    Meanwhile the 5 year old remains in critical condition. My thoughts and prayers go out to him.

  6. avatar TommyJay says:

    Unchamber the round, if you’re going to part ways with the firearm, even for a minute. Except maybe for storage in a safe.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      +1000

      If you can’t be bothered to do that, carry Israeli if you have small children. The risks involved with racking the slide in an emergency are puny compared to your 5 year old getting his hands on a loaded, chambered pistol.

      1. avatar What would Spock say says:

        Exactly. I did that very thing and someday when they are old enough not to shoot themselves in the face I’ll switch back to chambered carry. Tragedy buffer. Worth it.

  7. avatar Minuteman says:

    Good call Tommyjay. I have grandkids and any gun not in my personal possession are locked in the safe when they visit. Teach kids not to touch guns is great but a 5 year old doesn’t know the difference.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Minuteman,

      If all you do is tell a 5 year-old child not to touch guns, that will often fail.

      Instead of using your voice to explain an abstract concept that a 5 year-old will not understand, actually DEMONSTRATE a firearm to him/her. Put hearing protection on the child and have an adult hold the child about 20 feet behind you. Then blast a jug of water with a hollowpoint bullet. Next, have the child hold your hands while you shoot a handgun. (Make sure that the handgun’s operation cannot injure the child.)

      When the child SEES, HEARS, and FEELS what firearms do, they will truly understand and they will NOT want to mess around with real firearms until they are old enough to be responsible.

      1. avatar joel says:

        This is what i did. When i bought the first gun i had owned in a lonnng time, i had 4 kids in the house between 3 and 13. We ALL went to the range and learned what guns can do. Any time a curious child wanted to look at a gun, i made it safe, handed it to them, and we talked about safe handling techniques.

        I am sad for this child and family.

      2. avatar YuGo HuGo says:

        Excellent parental advise. Don’t just speak commands/instructions, FOLLOW UP with demonstrations and observations to, at least, attempt to make sure the message is received and understood.

      3. avatar Big Bill says:

        Instead of water, I used a #10 can of tomato paste in front of a piece of white wallboard.
        An extremely graphic demonstration. Kids know what blood looks like.

    2. avatar rt66paul says:

      Maybe your 5 year old doesn’t know the difference, my kids did, grandkids do and great grandchild will. That is still not justification, but you can teach most 5 year olds, many 4 year olds and even some 3 year olds. Just the loud noise from a gun should be enough that they do NOT want to play with it.
      As soon as they are old enough to shoot, you need to stress cleaning and responsibility. They will realize that these are not toys, they require work and responsibility. At that point, they will look at guns as tools they need to clean and won’t play with them.

  8. avatar JoeVK says:

    Why the hell would anyone just leave a gun in the car like that? Especially just stuffed in a seat pocket where a kid could easily grab it. Unless you’re going into a gun-free zone, it’s supposed to be on you!

    Either the father is a prohibited person of questionable background, or an absolute idiot. Possibly both. Of course, the mother could be one of those “no guns in this house types”.

  9. avatar Kman says:

    Praing for the boy to recover and to be raised by a man who is not criminally stupid.
    He should not be allowed to even think about firearms for the remainder of his existence.

  10. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

    Isreali carry means you never have to make this kind of phone call.

    RIP Veronica Rutledge.

    1. avatar CZ Rider says:

      I was at a party one time where a guy was showing off his new carry gun to a bunch of people who weren’t in any condition to handle a firearm. His excuse was “there isn’t one in the chamber”.

      Later, he handed it to a guy who really really wasn’t in any condition to handle a firearm. To his credit, the first thing he did was check the chamber to make sure it was clear… which racked in a round from the very definitely loaded magazine that hadn’t been removed first. I hadn’t even ever owned a gun then, but I still managed to get it out of his hands and clear it within a couple of panicked seconds. That was the last anyone saw of it for the rest of the night thankfully.

      1. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

        Nice save. Someone at that party likely owes you their life.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        CZ Rider,

        Israeli carry is no substitute for safe handling practices — as you apparently experienced.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Ansel,

      I do not generally approve of Israeli carry. Rather, proper trigger-finger discipline and keeping your handguns in properly fitting holsters is the solution to the “problem” that Israeli carry is supposed to fix.

      Having said that, if you are going to be irresponsible and leave firearms where children (who are too young to responsibly handle firearms) can access them, then Israeli carry probably makes a lot of sense.

      1. avatar Ansel Hazen says:

        We don’t have kids so not around them much. But I have striker fired tupperware with no safety. I’ll walk under a ladder leaned against a house now and then, but nothing in the chamber ever for me until I’m in front of paper or a threat.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      can’t defy human nature…no matter how much you preach…kids are naturally attracted to guns…and will pick one up and “play’ with it when given the opportunity and left unsupervised…keeping a round in the chamber of a semi-auto is sheer lunacy…especially when you consider about half of them will still fire with the clip removed…

  11. avatar jbob says:

    $100 says it was a Glock or light trigger pull striker fired pistol. Why don’t people with small kids that haven’t figured out not to touch add a layer of I got distracted for a moment safety and carry a heavier trigger pull or a DA/SA? Don’t hand me the “I’m responsible and don’t make mistakes crap” in my ears that translates to you’re an idiot.

    1. avatar John in AK says:

      You may be, by the percentages, correct in your guess, but consider where this child was shot–in the face.
      Visualize how it was done; Clearly, the muzzle was pointed at him, possibly in an attempt to look down the barrel (a common ‘curious’ response for the unknowing). That means that the gun was being held ‘backwards,’ almost certainly in both hands–which makes it possible for a very weak set of thumbs, combined, to enter the trigger guard with the fingers wrapped around the back of the grip, and. . . squeeze.
      For a heavy-triggered gun, such as a DA revolver, it’s normally not possible for a small set of hands to hold the gun normally and compress the trigger; Held backwards in both hands, muzzle pointed toward the holder, it’s considerably easier to squeeze that little lever–and, sadly, more common than people realize. Cock the hammer, an easy task, and the effort is even less.
      Most shootings of this nature happen just this way.
      What we learn from this is simple: No matter how heavy the trigger pull might be, a child CAN find a way to do it. Always.

    2. avatar Red in CO says:

      And yet you’re making an equally stupid claim, that if you have the “right” hardware you don’t have to be concerned with safety. Well, when my dad was 4, he was in the back of a car with his mother and redneck uncle. He found a .44 under the seat and managed to accidentally put a bullet into his mother’s foot. She made a full recovery, but that could have bey easily turned tragic.

      How about this: if we have small children around, let’s all be fanatically mindful of where our weapons are and how they are stored, no matter what they are and regardless of whether we think a kid could discharge it or not

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    Utterly horrific=inbred dumbf##k hillbilly. Please don’t tell me how smart & sensible you or your kid were at 5…prayers for the kid.

    1. avatar Get your brain in gear says:

      They are not necessarily “smart” you ignorant moron, they are trained to NOT touch a gun and why they should not touch one, there is a difference. Smart can shoot yourself or someone else, trained gives pause before the trigger is pulled and dulls some of the natural fascination with guns. You think you are so brilliant but it is morons like you that eventually “accidentally” leave weapons exposed to children who have never been taught anything about firearms and their natural curiosity leads to tragedy. Obviously there is still no excuse to leave a loaded weapon lying around where anyone, regardless of age, that does not have the maturity to respect the lethality of a weapon regardless of a round in the chamber or not can get to it.

  13. avatar Mikial says:

    How the bloody hell do you forget where your gun is? I guess he planned on never needing it. I’m sure the wife had some choice words for doing something that stupid. Poor kid.

  14. avatar Hugo says:

    We have a lot of discussions about keeping guns out of the hands of the insane. How do we keep them out of the hands of the stupid and irresponsible?

  15. avatar George burns says:

    Being a gun owner for over 60 years, just like some people shouldn’t drive, some shouldn’t carry. You can’t fix stupid.

  16. you have all said it. my prayers to the child, but like all of you, the gun should be on you, even when cleaning the car, and if it is not, it should be made safe. this gets people hurt and killed and gives the anti’s more to rag on. I hope the child makes a full recovery. and I believe we also once heard about the kid who reached into mommy’s pocketbook and shot themselves also. again ON YOU in something( like a holster) secure so the trigger cannot be pressed. the ONLY REAL SAFETY A FIREARM HAS IS BETWEEN YOUR SHOULDERS.

  17. avatar Sora says:

    It just meant that the father didn’t care enough about his guns to know where they are at all times.
    Yes, people forget, but that shouldn’t have taken that long.

  18. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    The man is an idiot. His child payed the price for his idiocy. I hope the child recovers and does so quickly. I hope the man pays a heavy price for his stupidity.

    Now if you will excuse me I have to go ask a bunch of anti-gun people why they feel that man’s idiocy makes a suitable basis for restricting everyone else’s rights.

  19. avatar john says:

    This is horrible but I must take the opportunity to point out something. The .45 “manstopper” leaves child alive after shooting themselves in the face point blank. Stew on that for a bit.

    gtfo of here with the whole BUT IT WASN’T THE DEFENSIVE AMMOS. it was point blank, and a child and we all know that by the description of how it went down the owner didn’t have it loaded with custom low power loads for ipsic. Probably store bought ball.

    1. avatar James Wilson says:

      Had exactly the same thought.

  20. avatar buddy says:

    Oh wow, people who make thoughtless-decisions suffer thoughtless-consequences. We can’t have that, we need new laws to ban death of all kinds, we need to get a regulative-handle on this whole “natural selection” thing. Guess I’d better turn in all my guns, give away my savings, property and family to south-american immigrants and become an atheist-nihilist.

  21. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I never leave my truck gun or any firearm, in my cars over night.

  22. avatar batterycap says:

    Second guessers and Monday morning QB’s spring from the woodwork everytime something like this happens. You are actually all correct, and yet we remain trapped in the flawed thing we call a human body, which is perpetually looking for a place to screw up. My heart aches for the parents, and I pray God grants the little boy and his folks healing and comfort. Sadly, this will happen over and over, and little ones will die far before their time.

    I read recently of yet another instance where a parent was backing out of their driveway and ran over their little one that had run to retrieve a toy before the car hit it. When us old guys die, there may be a few tears shed, and maybe a few will show up for the service. The next day – life goes on.

    Nothing shakes us to our core like going to the funeral of a youngster. Life as we knew it ends.

    1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      There’s no second guessing here, as there was never a first guess. You know not to leave a firearm in a seat pocket.

      Neither is there any Monday morning quarterbacking. There’s only one play and we’re all calling the same one here as we caall daily in our own lives: keep your firearm secured.

      This father failed to exercise even a basic standard of care and now should have to do some serious prison time for his negligence.

  23. avatar raptor jesus says:

    The gun didn’t just “go off.”

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