A 3-year old girl accidentally shot her pregnant mother from the back seat of a car Tuesday after the woman’s boyfriend allegedly left the loaded gun in the car, according to police in Northwest Indiana.
ABC News (@ABCNews) reports, the shooting happened Tuesday afternoon in Merrillville when the boyfriend walked into a store and left the loaded gun in the car between the console and the seat, Merrillville police chief Joseph Petruch told ABC News.
The gun owner’s pregnant girlfriend, sat in the driver’s seat in the parking lot with her children, ages 3 and 1, in the backseat. The 3-year old girl got hold of the 9mm Glock 19 pistol while she was in the back, and the weapon discharged, hitting her mother in the chest, Petruch said. The bullet then went through the windshield. The woman got out of the car and collapsed.
The children, who were not harmed, were turned over to child protective services, Petruch said. The victim was hospitalized. Her condition is unknown at this time. The boyfriend, Menzo Brazier, was taken to Lake County Jail where he was held on child endangerment charges. Police said they expect to meet with the prosecutor’s office on Thursday to determine what, if any additional charges will be added. Petruch called the shooting a “careless, dangerous act.” He added that Brazier is “directly responsible for this.”
“When you take on a responsibility of gun ownership, you have to be a responsible adult. Especially you don’t leave a loaded gun around when children are present.” Petruch said.