A 23-month-old toddler in Rapid City, S.D., found a gun in his house and accidentally blasted his mom in the leg with it.
The mother and child have not been publicly named. The incident took place last Thursday just after 9 pm on the 400 block of East Custer Street in the Black Hills burg, South Dakota’s largest city.
According to press reports, the toddler found a loaded handgun lying unsecured inside the home. When his 22-year-old mother attempted to pull the gun away from the reluctant child, the weapon fired twice.
One round struck the young mother in her leg. She was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for her wound, which was reported not to be serious.
The incident took place just five days after a 3-year-old in Indianapolis similarly found an unsecured, loaded handgun in his home. In that incident, which took place the previous Saturday, the toddler accidentally shot himself in the head and died.
A child or teenager dies from an accidental or self-inflicted gunshot wound every 7 1/2 hours in the United States. In almost three out of every four of those fatalities, the gun involved was kept in the victim’s own house.
According to a report from May, in just the first four months of 2013, children age 4 and under shot eight people, mostly siblings or parents. Five of those shootings were fatal, including two incidents in which young children accidentally shot themselves.
The New York Times recently examined 259 recent cases of gun accidents involving children under age 15. About one-quarter of those involved kids accidentally shooting themselves — and of that group, more than half were children age 5 or younger.
SOURCES: Rapid City Journal, KOTA TV, CBS DFW, Jewish Daily Forward, New York Times