A two-year-old boy in Maine shot his parents and wounded himself with a gun that he had picked up from his parents' nightstand on Wednesday morning, according to police. The toddler's 25-year-old father was hit in the head, while his 22-year-old mother was struck in the leg.
The incident happened at the couple's home at New Meadows Road in West Bath, Maine, around 8 am on Wednesday. The baby was also injured by the recoil of the gun, authorities said. All three family members were hospitalized with serious injuries, said Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry. However, all the three are out of danger and recovering.
Police told the media that the toddler was idling and suddenly picked up the handgun that was on the nightstand and shot his father and mother and was struck by the recoil of the gun in his face. It is not known how the child got hold of the gun but police believe it was because of the carelessness of the parents that he got hold of the gun.
The mother's injury was described as a "clean gunshot wound," and the father received a minor injury. The boy was reportedly injured when the gun recoiled and hit his face. Police said that what is unbelievable is how the toddler managed to press the trigger, which is quite hard and almost impossible for a two year old.
According to the Press Herald, the couple's other three-week-old baby was also present in the room at the time of the incident but wasn't harmed. The infant has been handed over to his grandmother who the police said also lived in the same house but was not present there at the time of the shooting.
Merry said his department is investigating the incident. "The question of how the boy was able to pick up and fire the weapon is of great concern and is being investigated," Merry wrote in a statement, according to the Times Record. "This situation, while disturbing, could have had an even more tragic ending. We are thankful that the injuries were not more serious."
He also added that the boy's face injury "was minor and, to my understanding, he was immediately released." However, the incident could have been more tragic as all the three luckily managed to escape serious injuries. Merry said that so far no charges have been issued, adding that his office offers free trigger locks upon request.
"In the 12 years I've been sheriff, we've never had a situation like this," he said. "If you have children, you really should be securing any firearm in a locked closet or cabinet or have a trigger lock."
"What happened [Wednesday] is a sad, shocking example of why we need LD 759. Children are curious, and this legislation sends the message that it is not okay to leave a loaded firearm where a kid might get it," said state Rep. Vicki Doudera (D), a sponsor of the bill.