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Posted: 3/13/2005 11:18:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 11:20:23 AM EST by warlord]
HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Front page

March 13, 2005, 1:34AM

4-year-old shoots brother, 2
Officer says boy was angry after an argument and got a gun from his mother's purse
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

A 4-year-old boy who shot his 2-year-old brother in the head Saturday afternoon after an argument in their southwest Houston home didn't seem to understand what he had done, police said.

"He's wondering where his brother is, and when his brother's coming back," said Sgt. Cameron Grysen of the Houston Police Department Homicide Division.

The 2-year-old was in critical condition Saturday night at Ben Taub Hospital with a single gunshot wound to his temple.

"He's very critical," Grysen said late Saturday. "The next 72 hours are very vital because he's in a drug-induced coma right now."

The incident happened about 4:20 p.m. at a home in the 5500 block of Gatewood near South Post Oak Boulevard.

Grysen said the boys had been arguing when the 2-year-old threw a toy at his brother. While the mother thought the boys had returned to their room, they walked back to her room, where the older boy grabbed a loaded gun from his mother's purse.

"The 4-year-old was angry ... he went and got the gun, put it to his brother's head and shot the gun," Grysen said.

The bullet entered one of his temples before exiting the other side of his head. The sound of the gunshot alerted the mother to the incident. The woman had told police that she had the gun — a .32-caliber semiautomatic — in her possession to protect her family because of recently reported burglaries in the neighborhood.

It is not clear if the boys' father was home at the time, but police said he did go to the hospital.

The mother could face criminal charges of making a weapon available to a child, Grysen said, adding that Child Protective Services would also investigate the family.

CPS spokeswoman Estella Olguin said her agency had never been called to the home prior to Saturday. CPS case workers placed the 4-year-old with his grandmother pending the outcome of an investigation.

A CPS caseworker was expected to decide whether to allow the older brother to stay with his parents or place him in custody of family or CPS.

Grysen said the 4-year-old would not be charged with a crime. Under Texas law, children younger than 10 years old cannot be charged with a crime.

The mother told police that Saturday was the one day that she did not keep her gun secure.

"You got to be real careful with guns around children, and you can't be too careful keeping them secured," Grysen said.

Police are not sure whether the older boy understands the difference between real and toy guns.

"We really can't say with a 4-year-old," Grysen said. "It's very mind-boggling that this happened."

Residents of the modest neighborhood described the children and their parents as a happy family who often take walks with neighbors.

"All parents should be concerned about weapons laying in the home," said Yulanda Jordan, a neighbor.

HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Front page
This article is: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/3082432
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 11:21:15 AM EST
The 4 year old has some issues that need to be addressed.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 11:25:38 AM EST
It made get up and check the gun cabinet, to insure it was locked. There is a definite liability on the mothers end. Too many parents use the TV as a babysitter and the kids don't realize that what they see on the boob tube doesn't correlate with reality. I'm not saying TV is to blame, the responsibility lies on the parent.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 11:31:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 11:32:24 AM EST by warlord]
4 years can get around pretty quickly. If you carry a firearm, you've got to be really careful to secure the gun against access by the children. I've read news stories in the past where LE people had children get access to their duty guns. This is a very sad story because the 4 year can't really comprehend what he had done.
Link Posted: 3/14/2005 3:23:54 PM EST
HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Front page

March 14, 2005, 4:44PM

Boys involved in shooting played with toy guns
Associated Press

Neighbors of a 4-year-old boy who shot his 2-year-old brother in the head over the weekend said today the boys were well-dressed and had lots of toys, including cap guns that they shot in their front yard.

One neighbor said the boys could be so wild he would only let his granddaughters play with them outside.

The toddler was still in critical condition today at Ben Taub hospital after the Saturday shooting.

Patrick Ardion, who lives across the street from the still-unidentified family, said he often saw the boys playing with toy guns and wouldn't be surprised if the 4-year-old mistook his mother's gun for a toy.

"Those little boys used to play with little pop guns anyway," he said. "So they probably thought that was a toy gun too."

The 4-year-old, who is now being cared for by a grandparent, knows he got his mother's gun — a .32 caliber semiautomatic pistol — from her purse after his 2-year-old threw a toy at him and bit him, said Child Protective Services spokeswoman Estella Olguin. But that may be all he understands, she said.

"I don't think he understands what he has done because he keeps asking for his brother," Olguin said. "He probably doesn't realize the finality of his actions."

CPS plans to set up counseling for the boy and is investigating whether his parents provided a safe environment for the children, Olguin said.

"So far, we know that the mom felt like she had to get a gun because of some burglaries in her neighborhood," she said.

Olguin said the boys' 29-year-old mother told investigators that since she bought the gun a few weeks ago, she put it out of the children's reach but "this day she had it in her purse."

The father, 31, wasn't home at the time of the shooting, Olguin said.

"Apparently, the kids already knew where she kept it," Olguin said of the gun.

Neighbor Glenn Holcombe said residents have been worried about numerous burglaries on their residential street in the past few months. His granddaughters often played with the boys in the front yard of the boys' one-story, white brick and wood house.

Today, no one answered the door at the house, where sidewalk chalk drawings remained on the front porch and a basketball sat in the driveway.

"I wouldn't let them go in the house because those kids, sometimes they were off the chain," Holcombe said of the boys.

Holcombe said overall the boys parents seemed to take good care of them and often dressed them alike.

"Them boys got a toy store up in there," he said. "They had anything and everything they wanted to play with and whatever they wanted to wear."

But Holcombe said the shooting was senseless.

"Whoever left that (gun) out where a child could get it loaded and on fire, that was their negligence," he said. "Nobody in their right mind is going to leave no weapon down."

According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, which sets out to prevent unintentional childhood injuries, nearly two-thirds of parents who own guns believe they keep the firearm safely away from their school-aged children. However, a 1994 study by the Journal of Health Education found that 75 percent to 80 percent of first- and second-graders knew where their parents keep a gun.

The organization also says few children under age 8 can distinguish between a real and toy gun or understand the consequences of shooting a real gun. By age 3, children are strong enough to pull a handgun's trigger, according to the organization.

Police say the mother could face criminal charges for making a weapon available to a child. The 4-year-old will not face any charges; the minimum age in Texas for delinquent conduct charges is 10.

HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Front page
This article is: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/3084430
Link Posted: 3/14/2005 3:26:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2005 3:26:58 PM EST by pale_pony]
At the risk of a LOCK, let's all take a guess what nationality daddy is?

Gang-bangers and wanna-be's, you live by the sword, you die by the sword.
Link Posted: 3/14/2005 3:41:56 PM EST
HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Local & State

March 14, 2005, 6:54AM

Toddler shot by brother, 4, still in critical condition
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

A toddler remained in critical condition at the Ben Taub General Hospital on Sunday, a day after he was shot in the head by his 4-year-old brother.

The shooting happened about 4:20 p.m. Saturday at the children's southwest Houston home in the 5600 block of Gatewood near South Post Oak Boulevard.

There were no new developments in the investigation, Houston police homicide detectives said Sunday.

The shooting was sparked by an argument that erupted after the 2-year-old threw a toy at his older brother.

The 4-year-old told police he shot his brother in the head with a .32-caliber semiautomatic pistol he found in his mother's purse.

Child Protective Services caseworkers placed the 4-year-old with his grandmother, pending the outcome of their inquiry.

"Normally, our investigations can take up to 30 days," CPS spokeswoman Estella Olguin said Sunday. "We haven't yet had a chance to see the 2-year-old or talk to their dad to see what he knows about the situation."

Olguin said the boy has been asking for his younger brother. "He probably doesn't realize the consequences of his actions," she said.

Because he is under 10, the boy will not be charged in the shooting.

However, Olguin said he will need counseling in the future. "You can imagine the guilt he's going to feel," she said.

Their mother was in a bedroom when she heard the gunshot. She told police she had the gun to protect her family because of a rash of recent burglaries in the neighborhood.

Police said the case will be referred to the Harris County District Attorney's Office. The children's mother could face criminal charges for making the weapon available to a child, police said.


HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Local & State
This article is: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/3083361
Link Posted: 3/14/2005 3:46:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/14/2005 3:47:56 PM EST by 4GodandCountry]
"Ban the 4-year olds... Do it for the children!"
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