Metro-East News

Authorities investigating after 4-year-old shoots himself in the hand with mom’s gun

A 4-year-old boy shot himself in the hand with his mother’s gun Sunday while she was outside in the garden in the 700 block of North 37th Street in East St. Louis.

The shooting occurred around 11:20 a.m., according to East St. Louis Police Chief Jerry Simon. The child was taken to the hospital and was in stable condition Sunday.

“When the officers arrived they spoke to the mother of the child who said she was the owner of the weapon and she had a FOID card,” he said, confirming the gun was legally owned by the 31-year-old mother.

The mother told police she had a handgun in her closet when she walked outside to do something in her yard. She then heard a gunshot and walked back inside to find her son had shot himself in his hand.

The gun was found by police next to a safe.

The shooting is under investigation and state Department of Children and Family Services was notified of the incident.

The gun will be taken to the Illinois State Police crime lab for analysis, Simon said.

“It’s important to have a gun lock and keep all weapons in a safe place. While it appears to be a tragic accident, it could have been avoided if the weapon had been secured properly,” Simon said.

Carolyn P. Smith: 618-239-2503, @carolynhendri18