A 3-year-old toddler in Oregon shot himself in the head with a handgun after he discovered it in an unlocked drawer.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office revealed the first 911 call about toddler James Kenneth Lindquester came in just after 10 p.m.
“Family members of 3-year-old James Kenneth Lindquester called 911 to report James had gotten a handgun out of a bedroom end table drawer” in an Aloha home, “and shot himself in the head,” reads the statement.
Both authorities as well as EMS technicians rushed to the house and “took over life-saving efforts from the family.”
An ambulance then took James to a hospital “where he was pronounced deceased just before midnight,” according to the statement.
The statement notes how detectives are investigating the shooting.
Shannon Wilde, the Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy, said it was a rough scene for first responders.
“The death of a child is the absolute worst call that we go to,” Wilde said. “It’s tough, a lot of us are parents ourselves. I know some of the responders on scene last night have children, some have children the same age as this little boy and it’s tough. We see a lot of horrible things but seeing a child in that situation is the worst.”
Guns should only be loaded when they’re about to be used in the field, on the target range or in the shooting area, according to the Firearm Industry Trade Association. And if owners bring their guns inside, they are urged to practice caution.
“Unload your gun immediately when you have finished shooting, well before you bring it into a car, camp or home,” the site reads. “When not in use, firearms and ammunition should be secured in a safe place, separate from each other.”
“It is your responsibility to prevent children and unauthorized adults from gaining access to firearms or ammunition,” the site notes.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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