A woman in Ohio was charged with child endangerment after her toddler took out a gun from her purse and accidentally shot it in the air at a Walmart store, police said on Sunday (Nov 19).
The incident took place on Thursday at 11 am (local time) when she was out at Walmart Store in Southern Ohio for shopping.
The woman, whose name wasn’t revealed, told the Waverly Police Department said her two-year-old boy took her Taurus 9mm firearm from her purse, and it went off.
Fortunately, none of the bullets hit the ceiling of the store, and the child was left with a minor injury to his forehead “due to contact with the magazine,” police said.
Bullets hit none, kid faces minor injury
The woman was later taken into custody and charged with endangering children in Pike County Court. The boy was released to the care of a guardian and taken to an urgent care facility, police said.
Waverly police said in a statement on their Facebook page that such incidents “underscore the need for heightened awareness and safety measures” and the department “emphasises the importance of responsible firearm ownership and storage, especially those with children.”
According to Ohio rules, a person who has custody or control of a minor (under 18)—or an individual with a physical or mental disability under the age of 21—is guilty of child endangerment when they create a substantial risk to the safety or health of a minor in their care by failing to fulfill their duty of protection or support.
A parent, custodian, or guardian is also guilty of child endangerment when they cause endangerment to the minor child in their care or to a physically or mentally disabled person under 21 years old who is in the custodian’s care:
A person convicted of child endangerment in Ohio faces the possibility of time behind bars as well as hefty fines. However, not all offenses are charged the same depending on the circumstances you could be charged with a felony or misdemeanour. Correspondingly, each charge for child endangerment involves a different level of punishment.