78-year-old John Stepp, of Redding, California, has been charged with "criminal storage of a firearm of the first degree" in connection with the February 23rd unintentional shooting of his 3-year-old great-grandson Grady. Stepp left a loaded, unlocked handgun next to the futon where he sleeps. During a visit from his great-grandchildren while the family was gathered in the kitchen, 3-year-old Grady wandered away from the table, into the room with the futon. He picked up the 9mm pistol, pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger.
Grady suffered damage to both sides of his brain. He is still in the hospital in fair and stable condition. Last week he had surgery to insert a temporary feeding tube into his stomach. Doctors also removed all tubes from his throat. His maternal grandfather noted, "He's looking at us, really recognizing his mom and sisters and dad."
The District Attorney noted that Stepp was charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony, because "He's not just a carefree, negligent individual. He takes precaution; one time in his life he slipped up. When you're dealing with guns, you can't slip up."