A 10-year-old boy was accidentally shot by his babysitter as she took selfies while holding a gun. The incident occurred on Tuesday in Houston, Texas. Officers from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene and arrested the child’s aunt and babysitter, 19-year-old Caitlyn Smith.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Smith was babysitting the child in an apartment when she found the gun.
Thinking that it was unloaded, Smith posed and took pictures with it. Deputy Thomas Gilliland, a spokesman with the Sheriff’s Office told reporters Smith’s finger was allegedly on the trigger as she pulled to eject its magazine, causing the gun to fire and strike the 10-year-old in the abdomen.
The boy was immediately taken to the hospital and rushed into surgery. Per a statement from Sherriff Ed Gonzalez, he “is expected to make a full recovery.”
Gonzalez also confirmed that Smith was arrested and charged with injury to a child–serious bodily injury, which is a second-degree felony.
Gilliland took the opportunity to stress the importance of proper gun safety to CNN. The National Safety Council has reported that accidental and preventable gun deaths make up 1% of overall gun-related deaths in the US.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute collected statistics about gun violence and how American children in particular face a substantial risk of injury and death caused by guns.
- 1.7 million children live with unlocked, loaded guns. One out of three homes with children has guns on the premises.
- People that die from accidental shootings were more than three times as likely to have a firearm in their homes than those in the control group.
- The vast majority of accidental firearm deaths among children are related to child access to firearms, either self-inflicted or at the hands of another child.
“Firearms are dangerous weapons so take precautions to make sure things like that don’t happen,” Gilliland said. “Taking selfies was not the best thing to be doing.”