Playing games with guns can have fatal consequences.
Lance Wilson, 3, of Michigan City, Ind., died this weekend after his mother's boyfriend accidentally shot him.
Zachariah Grisham, 24, is being held in the LaPorte County Jail on preliminary charges of neglect of a dependent and reckless homicide - both felonies.
LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi said Monday Grisham told investigators that he forgot his handgun was loaded when he decided to play a gun game with Wilson. He and the boy often played a game where the boy pointed his finger at Grisham and imitated firing a gun. Grisham played along by pointing his actual gun at the boy and pulling the trigger. This time, the gun was loaded.
Police responded at about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday to a mobile home park along U.S. 20 near Hitchcock Street where the shooting happened. Wilson was found dead from a gunshot to the head inside the trailer where Grisham lived with the boy, his mother and at least one other child.
Sue Holloway, a neighbor, said she went over to the boy’s home after several police vehicles and an ambulance arrived. She wound up comforting the victim's mother, who appeared too shocked and numb to cry.
"She had blood on her hands," said Holloway. "I felt so bad that this happened. A sweet little innocent boy is gone.''
Grisham has a prior criminal record dating back to 2003, and in 2012, he was fined $200 for a noise ordinance violation, according to court documents.
"Everybody's very devastated, but like I said we didn't know him. But still hearing the fact of a child getting shot, it's just devastating for us all," Chris Scholze, a neighbor, told ABC Chicago.
"Have a weapon, but use common sense with it. I'm not against weapons -- but common sense," Scholze said.
"It's sad that he is 3-years old and he was young and didn't have a chance to live his life. And it's a big tragedy for this community for something like that to happen," neighbor Michael Ferell added.