Child Shoots Self in the Face in Wendy’s Parking Lot in North Carolina: Officials

December 30, 2018 Updated: December 30, 2018

A child is in critical condition after being shot in the face on Dec. 30 while in a car at a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant in North Carolina.

The child was with his mother while at the drive-thru when he apparently got ahold of a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and shot himself in the face in Randleman, said Randleman Police Chief Steve Leonard. He said the child is about 5 years old, Fox8 reported.

The gun went off, and the child was shot, he said.

The boy was taken to Randolph Health and flown to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the report said.

The name of the boy and his condition are not clear.

It’s not clear who owned the handgun.

The Courier-Tribune of Asheboro reported that the Wendy’s was closed following the shooting. Officials said the incident occurred at the Wendy’s at 1029 High Point Street after 12:45 p.m. local time.

wendys in nc shooting
A child was with his mother while at the drive-thru when he apparently got ahold of a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and shot himself in the face in Randleman, N.C., on Dec. 30, 2018. (Screenshot/Google Street View)

Other details about the case were not clear.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “1.7 million children live with unlocked, loaded guns; 1 out of 3 homes with kids have guns.” It added, “In 2015, 2,824 children (age 0 to 19 years) died by gunshot and an additional 13,723 were injured.”

A study based on data from 2012 to 2014 shows that each year, about 5,790 children in the United States get medical treatment in emergency rooms for a gun-related injury. About 21 percent are unintentional, CNN reported. And from 2012 to 2014, 1,297 children on average died each year from a gun-related incident in the United States, according to the study.

Gun Safety

Field and Stream, a publication dedicated to hunting and fishing, recommends that for households with guns, “Keeping guns forbidden and mysterious only increases their allure. Let your kids handle your guns with your permission and under your supervision. Show them how to check whether the chamber and magazine are empty.”

The publication also recommends: “You’re trying to instill lifelong safety habits, and nothing you say speaks as loudly as your own actions when you and your child hunt together. Handle your own guns with extra emphasis on safety. While we’re at it, boats, ATVs, tree stands, and motor vehicles can be just as deadly as guns if used carelessly. Your young hunter will learn all about them by watching you.”

Violent Crime Down?

The FBI has said that in the United States, both violent crime and property crime decreased in 2017 compared to 2016. Overall violent crime decreased 0.2 percent from 2016 to last year, while property crime decreased 3 percent during that time, the agency said in September, releasing data from the previous year.

“There were more than 1.2 million violent crimes reported to UCR nationwide in 2017. There was a 0.7 percent decrease in murders and a 4 percent decrease in robberies from 2016 to 2017. Aggravated assaults increased 1 percent in 2017. The FBI began collecting data solely on an updated rape definition last year, and 135,755 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2017,” the FBI said in its report.