(Reuters) - A 3-year-old boy shot and wounded his father and pregnant mother with a 9 mm handgun that he pulled out of the woman’s purse while searching for an iPad, police in New Mexico said on Sunday.
Both parents needed hospital treatment for non-life threatening injuries after the bullet went through his father’s buttocks and into his mother’s shoulder, Albuquerque Police Department Officer Simon Drobik said.
The woman, who is 8-months-pregnant, is being kept at the hospital for observation. The man has been released, said Drobik, who was first to arrive at the scene of the incident at an Albuquerque motel on Saturday afternoon.
“On the kid’s side, it’s a horrible accident that happened, but the parents are still culpable,” Drobik said. “They should have secured the gun.”
The couple could face felony negligence charges. The child does not face criminal charges, Drobik said.
The woman told police she purchased the gun the day before the incident, Drobik said. The man is not legally allowed to have a firearm because he has previously been convicted of a felony crime.
The family, including a two-year-old girl and the children’s grandmother, had been living in an America’s Best Value Inn for about a week with their two pit bulls when the incident occurred.
Following the shooting, the children were placed with child protective services for at least 48 hours. The dogs were taken by animal control staff.
Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Alison Williams