A California couple pleaded no contest to child abuse and weapons charges stemming from a 2009 incident where their 8-year-old son unintentionally shot and killed their 2-year-old daughter. The boy was playing unsupervised with a 9mm handgun in his parents' bedroom when the shooting occurred.
The child was reasonably familiar with guns and was able to retrieve the gun, get a magazine and load the gun. A police investigation concluded the home was an unsafe environment for the children because of unsecured weapons. In addition to the 9mm handgun they seized a .40 caliber handgun, an assault rifle, and other weapons that did not function.
A Virginia mother was sentenced to 10 years for felony child neglect that resulted in a serious injury for a 2008 incident where her 7-year-old son unintentionally shot her 5-year-old son with a handgun he found sitting on top of the television in her bedroom.
The mother testified that she had found the gun in the kitchen while reaching for something on a high shelf. She put the gun on the TV in her bedroom, closed the bedroom door and told her children not to go in that room. Police also removed a second handgun from the home.
The child was shot in the cheek and has since recovered from the incident, although the bullet remains in his face.