In Elmo, Missouri, a 9-month-old baby boy has died after being accidentally shot in the head by his 5-year-old brother.
The mother of 4, Alexis Wiederholt, 26, frantically called police just before 9 a.m. Monday morning telling them that her 5-year-old son had shot her infant Corbin in the head with a paintball gun at their grandfather’s house.
NBC explained that the young mother had just put her 9-month-old down for a nap, turned on cartoons for the older 3 kids and was headed for the dishwasher when she heard a strange “pop” come from the bedroom of the Missouri home. She rushed to investigate the noise when her 5-year-old son appeared and said, “I’m sorry, Mom. I shot Corbin.”
“I walked in and there was my baby, lying there, bleeding,” Wiederholt said, her voice cracking as she described the scene. “I had just hugged him in my arms five minutes before that.”
The baby was taken by air ambulance to the hospital but was pronounced dead at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City just before noon on Monday.
The 5-year-old boy along with his 2 other siblings are in the custody of relatives so the mother could be with her infant.
She later found out the weapon was in fact a .22 caliber Magnum revolver, not a paintball gun.
The gun was her father’s, William Porter. She had no idea that he even kept a loaded gun in the home that her children were visiting.
Wiederholt says that she grew up around guns and doesn’t understand why her dad didn’t have the gun properly locked up around her kids. “I don’t know why someone would have a loaded gun in the house while kids were around,” she said.
Her father remembered Corbin by saying, “He was a doll. He was the sweetest thing you ever put your eyes on… Right now I’m going through hell. We all are.” When asked if he regrets keeping guns in the home, Porter said, “I do now.”
He also said, “I told the boys they weren’t supposed to be in my bedroom where I keep the gun cabinet and they knew it- but like I said, boys will be boys.”
The loaded gun was kept on a shelf built into the headboard of the master bed in the same room as the childrens’ playpen.
Porter said that he had the gun for security and target practice and that he kept it in a locked case, but the case could easily be opened with a screwdriver or random key.
The gun debate continues, but what we all have in common is that we want to stop these accidents with guns and children from continuing to happen. There are a variety of different ways to keep firearms safe, and the video below discusses the issue of gun safety.