Police urge weapon owners to review practices in wake of fatal accident

CACHE COUNTY, Utah – A 2-year-old boy injured when his older sister reportedly shot him by accident Friday died of his injuries while in a hospital, and officials are urging people to review the way they store their guns and ammunition.

Police officials stated Saturday morning that crews responded Friday at 6:40 p.m. to 3616 W. 2200 South in Young Ward, an unincorporated area of Cache County southwest of Logan, where the victim had been shot in the stomach with a .22 rifle.

A press release from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office states investigators believe the rifle had been used earlier in the day by the children’s father and left in the living room area of the house.

The release stated the gun was “in an unloaded state but did have live rounds in the magazine. We believe the 3 year old had to manipulate the action enough to chamber a live round prior to the incident occurring.”

The family was at home when the shooting occurred, and the mother heard the shot and was able to call for help quickly. The child was taken first to Logan Regional Hospital and rushed into surgery and was later airlifted to Primary Children’s Hospital, where the child succumbed to his injuries, according to the press release.

Investigators are looking into the case and documenting the facts to make a report to the Cache County Attorney’s Office for review. The release stated officials are, “comfortable referring to this case as an accidental shooting, however, we are still under the obligation of having the case reviewed. Referral to the court system, if any, will be determined at that time.”

The names of the children have not been released.

Officials stated in the release that it is important to store weapons safely: “This is a stark reminder of the importance of keeping all kinds of weapons out of the reach of children. We urge any and all to take an inventory of their current practices in storing guns and ammunitions(sic). Incidents like this are devastating, and the best thing we can do from here is learn from the experience and make ourselves more vigilant and safe.”

Gail Jensen lives in the neighborhood, and she spoke about the accident.

“It’s something you always have to think about, guns are to be kept away from children,” she said. “I think it’s really just a tragic accident is what it is and you just feel bad for them, and your heart goes out to them.”

Neighbor Becky Stivers said they will support the family during this tragic time.

“We are here for them,” she said. “It’s something you don’t want to happen. And I feel very sad for the family right now, but we are a pretty close community and we will help any way we can.”

10 comments

    • Bitsko

      Agreed. There is no such thing as an “accident.” It was obviously unintentional, but not an accident. The gun functioned perfectly. It did exactly what it was told to do.

      That’s a mighty hard lesson to learn, but hopefully others will learn from it BEFORE anyone gets shot.

  • rob

    I agree I have seveal guns with
    Locks on them got for free Thew. Police dept and my sheels locked up This should never happens all the time don’t leave your gun loaded

  • Mike

    A gun that has “live rounds in the magazine” is “unloaded”? This must be another definition of “unloaded” than I’m familiar with.

    • David

      A little common sense and skepticism: The chance that the responsible adult would minimize his negligence (to lessen the reaction of the police, his spouse, and his conscience) is greater than the chance of a 3-year-old operating a lever-action or bolt-action rifle and disengaging the safety.

      It is a pity that the police are “comfortable referring to this case as an accidental shooting” rather than pursuing a criminal negligence charge as would be done for leaving a toddler unattended at a swimming pool. Why are guns more sacred in Cache County than children? Some would say, “the family’s grief is enough punishment” so if I drive drunk and feel REALLY bad about the tragic results, I should do no time?

  • Armed Citizen.

    A firearm has to be chambered to be considered loaded. It is amazing how many people are not educated on firearms… These are the same people who want to make laws and trash them… Educate yourselves people

    • Jacob

      So a revolver is “unloaded” if the one chamber the hammer is over is empty, even if the other five are filled? I think we’re more saying that’s a stupid way to consider “unloaded”.

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