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3-year-old shoots self, parents could face charges

By Lindsay Watts, Weekend GMC Anchor/Target 13 Investigator , l.watts@krdo.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:41:17 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 23 2013 11:44:00 PM CST

A 3-year-old Fountain boy is recovering after police said he found his parents' gun and shot himself in the foot.

FOUNTAIN, Colo. -

A 3-year-old Fountain boy is recovering after police said he found his parents' gun and shot himself in the foot.

It happened on the 200 block of Turf Trail Place just after 8 a.m. Wednesday. Police said the child found a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun in the master bedroom and pulled the trigger.

"When the accident occurred, the mom was at home," said Fountain Police Sgt. Scott Gilbertsen. "She did not witness her son gaining access to the handgun. Dad was at work on Ft. Carson at the time, from my understanding."

Police said it was a neighbor who called 911. KRDO Newschannel 13 spoke to that woman, who said, at the time, the mother was also caring for her second child, a baby girl.

"A lot of different types of people live (in this neighborhood), but when someone needs help, we're always always there for each other," said the neighbor, who opted not to give her name. "I'm glad she felt comfortable enough to ask for help."

The neighbor said she wasn't sure why the mother didn't call 911 herself, suggesting that maybe the woman couldn't find her cellphone. She said the boy's father, a Ft. Carson soldier, came home right away. She and other neighbors said the man had recently returned from a deployment.

Fountain Police said the parents could face charges.

"Charges are always an option in a situation like this," said Gilbertsen. "Child abuse or neglect type charges."

He said police won't decide on charges until their investigation is completed.

Gilbertsen said the police department encourages responsible gun ownership and wants to remind people to use a trigger lock, gun safe or similar device. Gun locks are available for free at Fountain PD and some other police departments around southern Colorado.

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