The 911 call after a father realized his 2-year-old son had found the gun he likely used hours before, to police the streets of Cleveland, is a chilling reminder of the dangers guns pose inside homes.
Through the Freedom of Information Act, WKYC Channel 3’s Hilary Golston obtained the calls placed by the boy’s father, a 54-year-old Cleveland Police Officer, who was hired to the force in 1993.
“My son found my gun. He shot himself. He’s 2-years-old,” the man who identified himself as a Cleveland Police Officer said.
The incident occurred on December 23, 2016, around 10:20 a.m. in the 3800 block of Library Avenue.
Police said their investigation revealed the child obtained his father's service weapon and shot himself.
Neighbors say the boy's older brother was with him when the gun went off.
Sonya Hobbs, a neighbor called to report the shooting as well. She can be heard saying “the baby is dead... the baby is dead.”
Hobbs says she was coming out of her back door when she heard the boy’s brother say “call the police.” Hobbs asked what happened to which she says the boy replied “my brother shot himself.”
Our reporting partners, USA Today teamed up with the Associated Press to research the reality of accidental deaths with guns families’ keep at home.
Their reporting discovered the most recent data notes 77 minors died of gun accidents in 2015, but their investigation found 146 died that year and in 96 of those cases, a child either shot themselves or another child.
AP and USA Today reported they used a gun violence archive, news reports and police records to arrive at their number.
The report also discovered that often parents and caretakers aren’t charged because prosecutors don’t always know who to hold responsible or feel perhaps the parents have suffered enough.
According to the investigation, Ohio is a state that does not have child gun-access prevention laws.