||| Marko Bukorovic | Dreamstime.com |||
A 3-year-old child shot her pregnant mother that left the mom of two in critical condition. The child picked up her father’s gun inside her mother’s car in what turned out to be a shocking accident.
Shaneque Thomas, 21, was parked outside a Plato’s Closet thrift store in Merrillville, Indiana when she was shot from behind by her toddler.
The young child is said to have climbed over the back seat and reached to pick up the gun before accidentally firing, unfortunately hitting her own mother through the upper right part of her torso.
The child’s father, Menzo Brazier, 21, is responsible for leaving the loaded 9mm handgun unattended between the console and the front passenger seat after he left the vehicle to get something from the store. The gun was legal.
Witnesses describe the harrowing image of the young mother falling over in the parking lot after getting out of their car. Rebecca Todd told the local media that there was just blood pouring out of Thomas and that they had no idea where it was coming from, and what caused it. The witness added: “All she was saying was “help, help.”
Officers stressed that Brazier is clearly at fault for the accident, saying that the unfortunate incident should have never taken place at all. Merville Police Chief Joe Petruch said in a press conference: “Where the gun was placed was an unsecure location, it should never have happened. He should have locked it in the truck, it should have been unloaded. When you’re playing with guns in front of children, they pick up how to load a gun, how to fire a gun.”
Petruch elaborated on the extreme dangers of having loaded guns within children’s reach. He said: “They think it’s a toy, and I’m sure that’s what this 3-year-old picked up. This doesn’t happen overnight."
What was even scarier is the fact that aside from the 3-year-old girl, another 1-year-old child was with them at the time of the incident. The brother could have been shot as well given the harrowing circumstances. Both toddlers have since been taken by child protective services.
Thomas was airlifted to a hospital where she is currently in a critical but stable condition. The state of her pregnancy or the baby is not yet clear.
Brazier is currently being held on child endangerment charges. He also had a warrant out against him for separate for traffic violations.