Toddler shot and killed after picking up gun
A 3-year-old child was shot and killed at a home in Lonoke County Sunday afternoon, according to authorities.
Investigators said the toddler was next door visiting his godparents in the 9100 block of Kerr Station Road, something he had done many times before.
While his godfather was taking out his contacts, investigators said the child picked up a loaded 9 millimeter glock that was sitting on the nightstand, and was killed with one shot.
Investigators told Channel 7 the two families are very close, but not related.
"They're just comatose, almost just stuck," Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley said of the boy's family.
The child lived next door to the home where the incident happened with his mother and her boyfriend, according to investigators.
Staley said the boy's mother is pregnant and was admitted to the hospital following her son's death.
The incident hits home for so many parents, including Staley.
"I could not imagine letting my child come visit and then, and then losing them," Staley said. "It's hard."
The Lonoke County Sheriff's Office currently teaches classes on firearm safety and has started a Community Education Relations Team which will continue reaching out to the community with classes on gun safety.
The sheriff recommends everyone to know how to keep the guns safe and out of young hands... even if you don't normally have children in the home.
"At this point in time it looks like it's just a very tragic incident that, in my opinion, probably could have been avoided with proper firearm handling," Staley said. "However, being in your own home and not having small children, you live a different lifestyle."
Investigator Lt. Jim Kulesa said although the gun's owner is registered and has a concealed carry permit, investigators have learned the gun was stolen from Little Rock in 2008.
Kulesa said the gun's owner purchased the gun in 2009, and may not have been aware it was stolen.
The toddler's godparents do not have children, according to investigators, who add there were no other children present at the time of the incident.