A 4-year-old boy in an apartment found a loaded gun under a mattress and used it to shoot his pregnant mother in the face, Washington state authorities said on Feb. 3.
The unidentified woman, 27, and her boyfriend were watching television in bed on Feb. 2 when their son found the gun under the mattress, said the King County Sheriff’s Office.
“He unintentionally shot his mom in the face,” Sgt. Ryan Abbott told The Associated Press.
BREAKING: A mom 8 months pregnant was critically injured when her 4-year-old child found a gun under their bed and pulled the trigger.
The woman, who is eight months pregnant, was rushed to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Abbott said her condition improved on Feb. 3 after she was taken to another hospital, AP reported.
The boy’s father told officials he borrowed the firearm for protection, Abbott said. The gun wasn’t reported stolen but is unregistered, he said.
Abbott said that Washington’s new law stipulates that gun owners could face criminal charges for not safely storing a gun but it doesn’t go into effect until July.
The case is still under investigation.
The shooting occurred at an apartment in the 12000 Block of 71st Avenue South, KOMO reported.
“We’re reminding anybody with a gun, kids see them as toys,” Abbott told AP. “The biggest tragic lesson here is please lock-up your guns so they can’t be used accidentally for the wrong reason.”
Neighbors have spoken out about the incident.
“It’s sad that that happened. It’s crazy, it’s crazy,” neighbor Treasure Nickles told KOMO.
She added the parents are “nice people. Their kids are always playing outside, they are always outside with their best friend. This is devastating, I pray his mom is okay.”
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An aunt to the woman told KIRO outside of the hospital, “My niece was shot.”
“She was shot but she’s doing OK,” the woman said.
Violent Crime in the US
The number of murders and violent crimes committed in the United States dropped slightly in 2017, according to new crime statistics released in September 2018.
“Crime declined nationwide last year, consistent with our earlier analyses of 2017 data in the nation’s 30 largest cities,” Ames Grawert, senior counsel for the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice in New York, told the Washington Times.
“That’s the good news. The bad news is that even while crime is falling, the number of Americans incarcerated remains near-record highs. Now is the time to address the problem.”
The number of cases of manslaughter and murder dropped 0.7 percent in 2017 from the prior year, the report said.
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Rapes rose by 3 percent and aggravated assault rose by 1 percent, but overall violent crimes dropped 0.2 percent, the report added.
In Washington state, according to the Seattle Times, Kent, Federal Way, Tacoma, Spokane, and University Place were found to be the least safe out of the 72 cities in the state.
“Seattle ranked 46th, with 4,564 violent crimes and 37,934 property crimes as reported in the FBI Uniform Crime Report. Seattle has one of the highest rates of property crime among major U.S. cities, and nearly half of those involve vehicles,” The Times reported.